What to expect

The staff of the Healthy Brain Network can accommodate a variety of schedules and availabilities so your child’s participation is as convenient as possible. In addition, below we describe some of the tests that may be part of the process.

During your child’s participation in the Healthy Brain Network, we will conduct the following:

A qualified clinician will conduct face-to-face interviews with both the study participant and the accompanying parent or caregiver, asking detailed questions about the study participant’s past experiences and mental health history. The results of these interviews will help determine whether the participant may qualify for a diagnosis of a psychological disorder or benefit from further evaluation and treatment.

The study participant will complete a battery of computerized tests. These tasks will evaluate the study participant’s cognitive abilities and functioning in a number of areas, including attention, working memory, speed of mental processing, language, visual perception, memory, motor speed and dexterity, and executive functions (such as planning, organizing, and abstract reasoning). Results from these tests will provide information on the participant’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses and how the participant may best learn and succeed both inside and outside the classroom environment.

The study participant will complete a battery of paper-and-pencil tests with a qualified examiner. Intelligence tests are aimed at evaluating a participant’s verbal and nonverbal knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Achievement tests measure the extent to which the participant has acquired information or mastered certain academic skills, such as math, reading, and spelling. Results of these tests will help determine whether the participant may qualify for a diagnosis of a learning disorder or may benefit from further evaluation for learning differences and scholastic abilities.

The study participant as well as the accompanying parent or caregiver will be asked to complete several questionnaires about the participant’s emotions and behaviors, as well as aspects of social experiences and academic performance. Responses to these questionnaires will provide additional details and a fuller picture of the participant’s overall functioning and quality of life.

The study participant will complete a fitness test and provide a blood sample. A modified version of the test FitnessGram, widely used within the NYC DOE, will be conducted. This includes walking or running on a treadmill and an evaluation of each participant’s muscle strength/endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Study participants will also provide a blood sample both for a chemistry profile (measuring blood glucose, lipids, and additional metrics) and to supply the genetic sample for the study. The fitness and physical health testing will provide information on each participant’s overall health and cardiovascular fitness. Healthy Brain Network fitness and physical health evaluations and research are funded by generous support from Christine and Richard Mack.

 

Study participants will complete EEG and MRI imaging to investigate overall brain structure and function. Participants will complete tasks and tests during their imaging session. All imaging data collected will be used for research purposes and will not be provided to study participants as part of their feedback report. Participants will only be made aware of any abnormalities if indicated via the MRI brain scan.