Adolescent Depression Research


Mindfulness Intervention to study the Neurobiology of Depression (MIND) Supervisor: Rachel Jacobs, Ph.D.

Currently, approximately 50% of individuals who experience depression during their adolescence experience depression again. No current treatments protect against the lifelong consequences of depression in one’s youth. This project seeks to therapeutically modulate the brain circuitry underlying rumination, a passive and maladaptive thought pattern, for the purposes of reducing risk for the recurrence of depression in adolescents. In addition to assessing the impact of a novel relapse prevention program (rumination –focused cognitive behavior therapy; R-CBT); this study will examine the impact of rumination on the neural systems implicated in emotion regulation among adolescents (ages 12-18). R-CBT has recently been tested in the prevention of first-onset depression among adolescent girls, with an observed decrease in depression scores of approximately 30%. In applying R-CBT to the prevention of recurrent depression, I hypothesize that R-CBT will result in reductions in ruminative tendencies as well as normalized patterns in brain regions associated with depression and rumination when compared to adolescents in an assessment only condition. I also hypothesize that R-CBT will result in lower rates of depression relapse and decreases in residual depression symptoms.

Possible Intern Roles:
Train in K-SADS assessment and serve as Independent Evaluator following adolescent symptoms of psychopathology over time Assist with fMRI data pre-processing and data analyses Serve as study therapist administering R-CBT

Rachel Jacobs, Ph.D.