Resting EEG in psychosis and at-risk populations--a possible endophenotype?

Siri Ranlund, Judith Nottage, Madiha Shaikh, Anirban Dutt, Miguel Constante, Muriel Walshe, Mei-Hua Hall, Karl Friston, Robin Murray, Elvira Bramon

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Finding reliable endophenotypes for psychosis could lead to an improved understanding of aetiology, and provide useful alternative phenotypes for genetic association studies. Resting quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) activity has been shown to be heritable and reliable over time. However, QEEG research in patients with psychosis has shown inconsistent and even contradictory findings, and studies of at-risk populations are scarce. Hence, this study aimed to investigate whether resting QEEG activity represents a candidate endophenotype for psychosis.

QEEG activity at rest was compared in four frequency bands (delta, theta, alpha, and beta), between chronic patients with psychosis (N = 48), first episode patients (N = 46), at-risk populations (“at risk mental state”, N = 33; healthy relatives of patients, N = 45), and healthy controls (N = 107).

Results showed that chronic patients had significantly increased resting QEEG amplitudes in delta and theta frequencies compared to healthy controls. However, first episode patients and at-risk populations did not differ from controls in these frequency bands. There were no group differences in alpha or beta frequency bands.

Since no abnormalities were found in first episode patients, ARMS, or healthy relatives, resting QEEG activity in the frequency bands examined is unlikely to be related to genetic predisposition to psychosis. Rather than endophenotypes, the low frequency abnormalities observed in chronic patients are probably related to illness progression and/or to the long-term effects of treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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