for people ages 14-18 (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Olga Tymofiyeva
Headshot of Olga Tymofiyeva
Olga Tymofiyeva



The primary objective will be to study changes in putamen connectivity and depression severity in depressed teens with meditation training. H1: Putamen node strength will increase in the training group compared to the active controls. H2: This increase in node strength will correlate with practice amount recorded by participants. H3: There will be a significant reduction in self-rated depression symptoms following the training as measured by the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale (RADS-2), compared to controls. H4: This reduction will correlate with the increase in putamen node strength. Design and Outcomes: The current research study design will utilize an individually randomized group treatment, open-label, active-controlled clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of the investigator's innovative mindfulness meditation intervention (Training for Awareness Resilience and Action [TARA]) on the primary outcome (Putamen structural node strength) and secondary outcome (depression symptoms measured using Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale [RADS-2]) in depressed adolescents between the ages of 14 to 18 years old.


Depression Mild, Depression Moderate, Depression, Teen, Depression, Depressive Disorder, TARA, Psycho-Education


For people ages 14-18

The inclusion criteria: unmedicated adolescents with mild to moderate depression, of both sexes, 14-18 years old, with depression symptoms corresponding to RADS-2 t-scores of 61-69 (t-scores below 61 are the normal range, t-scores 70 and above are considered to be severe clinical depression), under the care of a primary care doctor.

Exclusion criteria are psychiatric comorbidities other than anxiety disorder, severe suicidal ideation, as well as MRI contraindications (ferromagnetic objects on or inside the body, e.g. braces) and pregnancy.

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Olga Tymofiyeva
    Dr. Olga Tymofiyeva is an Associate Professor in the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Tymofiyeva holds her degrees in Physics (PhD, University of Wuerzburg, Germany), Electrical Engineering (MSc, University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe, Germany and BSc, NTUU “KPI”, Kyiv, Ukraine), and Psychology (BSc, University of Hagen, Germany).


not yet accepting patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 120 study participants
Last Updated