Identifying Electroencephalography Biomarkers in Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis in an International Multi-Site Study

Sarah Kerins, Judith Nottage, Gonzalo Salazar de Pablo, Matthew J Kempton, Stefania Tognin, Dorien H Niemann, Lieuwe de Haan, Thérèse van Amelsvoort, Jun Soo Kwon, Barnaby Nelson, Romina Mizrahi, Philip McGuire, Paolo Fusar-Poli*, PSYSCAN Consortium

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: The clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR-P) paradigm was introduced to detect individuals at risk of developing psychosis and to establish preventive strategies. While current prediction of outcomes in the CHR-P state is based mostly on the clinical assessment of presenting features, several emerging biomarkers have been investigated in an attempt to stratify CHR-P individuals according to their individual trajectories and refine the diagnostic process. However, heterogeneity across subgroups is a key challenge that has limited the impact of the CHR-P prediction strategies, as the clinical validity of the current research is limited by a lack of external validation across sites and modalities. Despite these challenges, electroencephalography (EEG) biomarkers have been studied in this field and evidence suggests that EEG used in combination with clinical assessments may be a key measure for improving diagnostic and prognostic accuracy in the CHR-P state. The PSYSCAN EEG study is an international, multi-site, multimodal longitudinal project that aims to advance knowledge in this field.

Methods: Participants at 6 international sites take part in an EEG protocol including EEG recording, cognitive and clinical assessments. CHR-P participants will be followed up after 2 years and subcategorised depending on their illness progression regarding transition to psychosis. Differences will be sought between CHR-P individuals and healthy controls and between CHR-P individuals who transition and those who do not transition to psychosis using data driven computational analyses.

Discussion: This protocol addresses the challenges faced by previous studies of this kind to enable valid identification of predictive EEG biomarkers which will be combined with other biomarkers across sites to develop a prognostic tool in CHR-P. The PSYSCAN EEG study aims to pave the way for incorporating EEG biomarkers in the assessment of CHR-P individuals, to refine the diagnostic process and help to stratify CHR-P subjects according to risk of transition. This may improve our understanding of the CHR-P state and therefore aid the development of more personalized treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number828376
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022


  • CHR-P
  • EEG
  • biomarkers
  • multi-site
  • psychosis prediction


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