The Clinical Evaluation Core's (CEC) goals are: 1. Recruitment, Characterization and Retention of Human Subjects 2. Uniform Diagnostic Method and Clinical Assessment Battery Across All Projects Including Psychological Autopsies, 3. Methods Development. 4. Maintenance of Reliability among Clinical Staff. 5. Supervise Inpatient Study Phase and Conduct Outpatient Study Phase 6. Consultation to Investigators. The CEC identifies and recruits patients with MDE and post-mortem cases. Normal volunteers are recruited to provide normative values on measures used and to establish psychometric properties of measures in a nonpathological population. The CEC utilizes a core of clinical instruments covering major risk factor domains for suicidal behavior, and ensures uniformity of assessment domains and measures across the projects of the Conte Center. These assessments include Axis I and II diagnostic interviews, measures of state and trait-related risk factors, measures of suicidal behavior, demographic history, life events, social functioning, family psychiatric history. Assessments are performed at intake, at time of biological procedures, at discharge. CEC interacts extensively with other Cores and Projects in the Conte Center. The CEC conducts clinical evaluation, data collection and treatment for all Conte Center projects that include human subjects including the Clinical Project 5, PET Project 3, MRI Project 4 and Statistics Project 6. CEC works closely with the Data Management and Statistics Core (DMSC) staff to generate forms, data management procedures, and reliability statistics. CEC coordinates with the Brain Imaging Core (BIC) regarding subject recruitment, clinical interviewing, matching controls and monitoring drug washouts and subject flow through the brain imaging protocols. The CEC conducts assessments of the suicide victims whose brains are studied by the Postmortem Brain Studies Core (PMC). The CEC obtains blood, hair and saliva from subjects to be analyzed by the Neurobiology Laboratory Core (NLC). The CEC also interfaces with the Administrative Core to identify and recruit new staff and maintain a central database of CEC manuscripts. The CEC coordinates the diagnostic consensus conference for projects # 1 , 2 - 6 and maintains inter-rater reliability. CEC Faculty and staff are an experienced center structure as most have worked as a core for the past 10 years or longer.
The Clinical Evaluation Core serves an essential function in the Conte Center as it recruits and assesses all human subjects who will participate in center projects. It interacts closely with other cores to characterize subjects in of terms of neurobiology, genetics, and imaging and provides data for statistical analyses.
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