Research Studies

Click here for a list of research studies and clinical trials currently recruiting participants.


The Balanced Mind Parent Network lists research studies open to children and adolescents as an educational and information service only. The posting of research studies on this Web site is not an endorsement or recommendation of such studies. There are many other studies which, for various reasons, may not be listed here. The Balanced Mind Parent Network makes no representations or warranties with respect to quality, efficacy, safety, reliability, qualifications, or desirability of the studies or researchers, and specifically disclaims any other warranties, express or implied.

About Research and Clinical Trials

Scientific research offers great hope to families affected by mood disorders. Participation in studies enables families to contribute directly to research that may lead to discoveries that lessen the burden of bipolar illness for current and future generations. Not all studies include treatment. Benefits may include a chance to be evaluated by an expert on the disorder, try a new medication not widely available, receive free treatment (including additional diagnostic tests) during the period of the study, and a period of follow-up care.

Before putting your child in a study, The Balanced Mind Parent Network suggests you ask questions to learn about the study and help you determine whether being in the study is in your child's best interests. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests the following Checklist of Questions:

  • Why do you want me in your study?
  • What is the research about? How will this research help in treating or understanding my disorder?
  • What do I need to do and how much time will this take?
  • How might this study help me, my relatives, or other people with my disorder?
  • What possible risks are there to me or my relatives if I take part?
  • How will this be different from the care I am getting now, and do I have other options or choices?
  • Could my illness become worse during the study? What will happen if it does?
  • What will happen to me at the end of the study?
  • What should I do if I want to drop out of the study?
  • May I get back to you after I discuss this with my family/friend/case manager/doctor?

For more information, see the FDA's guide, Should Your Child Be in a Clinical Trial?   

For a summary of research on bipolar disorder at the National Institute of Mental Health, see this Fact Sheet.

Check out Rush University's definitions of research terms.

Research and Clinical Trials Funding

Most research on bipolar disorder is funded by:

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
    The NIMH (funded by Congress) supports large, multi-site studies on pediatric bipolar disorder that are conducted at university research centers. It also conducts smaller studies by researchers on staff at its main campus in Bethesda, MD, and funds Research Roundtables and an annual scientific pediatric bipolar disorder conference.
  • Stanley Medical Research Institute
    Privately funded by Ted and Vada Stanley to fund basic research on causes and treatment of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Since 1989 the Stanley Medical Research Institute has awarded over $130 million in research grants with special focus on neuropathology, neurovirology/neuroimmunology, and research relevant to developing better treatments including pilot testing of novel, generic, and off-label compounds and nutritional supplements.
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (formerly "NARSAD")
    Founded in 1986 by a coalition of nonprofit mental health advocacy organizations, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation raises and distributes funds for brain disorder research. Its grants often lead to federal funding. Since 1987, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation has awarded $139.9 million in research grants to 1,695 scientists at 212 leading universities, institutes and teaching hospitals in the U.S. and in 20 other countries. Individuals and family foundations may become Research Partners to support proposals reviewed by its Scientific Council.
  • The pharmaceutical industry
    Develops new drugs and tests existing drugs for treatment of mood disorders under oversight by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). From Test Tube to Patient describes how new drugs are brought to market through clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies under the oversight of the FDA. Issues about testing pharmaceutical treatments for use in children are described in Drug Research in Children.

If you are a researcher with an open research study you'd like to post:

We also partner on research collaborations to help you expand the reach and increase the impact of your programs and initiatives. Contact us for more information.