Assessing Stress, Health, Emotion and Response (ASHER) Registry

Northwestern University IRB: STU00072626
Principal Investigator: Crystal T. Clark, MD, MSc

At the Asher Center an interdisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists, statisticians, and research staff are committed to developing novel treatments and applying what we learn through research to improve the lives of patients who suffer from mood and anxiety disorders in Chicago, nationwide, and around the world. To advance the center’s mission we have developed the ASHER Registry to characterize mood and anxiety disorders, gain insight into the variables that cause and worsen these disorders, and factors that affect response to treatment.

The ASHER Registry research team seeks to characterize an individual’s illness expression and personal experience as well as explore treatment preference and factors that influence discontinuation or drop-out from treatment. Through quarterly symptom assessment and concurrent collection of blood samples over the course of treatment, the ASHER Registry investigators aim to match symptom expression and treatment response to markers in the blood.

The Asher Center houses the Women’s Behavioral Health outpatient clinic and our research team is uniquely positioned to study mood and anxiety disorders particularly in women across the reproductive life span (e.g., premenstrual, pregnancy, postpartum, and perimenopause). The ultimate goal of our research is to use the symptom assessments and biobank of blood samples to aid the development of personalized medication management, psychotherapies, and comprehensive treatment.

Patients that participate in the ASHER Registry receive compensation for their time. Participants also have the benefit of additional monitoring of symptoms, as well as, a regular review of their treatment and progress by the clinical research team. Results of assessments completed in the registry are provided to the participant’s psychiatrist and/or psychologist in the Asher Center.    

The ASHER Registry is currently enrolling all patients receiving treatment or planning to begin treatment at the Asher Center. Patients are eligible to participate if they:

- Are between the ages of 18-65 at the time of enrollment

- Have a current or past mood disorder (i.e. Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Mood Disorder NOS) and/or anxiety disorder (i.e. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder)

- Speak English proficiently

- Do not have phobias or fears of needles, blood draws, or the sight of blood

If you are interested in participating or would like to hear more information, please contact our research team at tricia.pendergrast@northwestern.edu or 1-855-99-ASHER.