SNAP study

SNAP study

SNAP study

Chief investigator: Professor Barnaby Nelson

About 50 per cent of people who develop a psychotic disorder will do so by the time they are in their early 20s, however the ability to predict which high-risk patients will progress to a psychotic disorder is limited.

Research shows that for every 100 young people considered to be at ultra-high risk for psychosis, about a third (30 per cent) will go on to develop a psychotic disorder within three years. But we don't know in advance which third.

Orygen’s Self, Neuroscience and Psychosis (SNAP) study is interested in better predicting the one third of at-risk young people who will develop psychosis. 


The SNAP study will work with three groups:

1.      Young people aged 12–25 years who are at ultra-high risk (UHR) of developing psychosis;

2.      Help-seeking young people aged 12–25 years with psychiatric symptoms but with no psychotic symptoms; and

3.      Young people aged 12–25 years who do not have a current or past mental health diagnosis.

Trial participants must be able to attend appointments at Orygen (Parkville, Victoria). 

What does the study involve?

•   A one-off neurocognition and neurophysiology assessment appointment which:
– takes about three hours; 
– involves computer-based tasks assessing attention and memory; and
– involves an electroencephalography (EEG) – a non-invasive test that tracks and records electrical brain activity.

•   A clinical assessment appointment which:
– takes about three and a half hours; and
– involves answering questions about everyday life, mood, behaviour and thoughts.

The ultra-high risk group will also be asked to complete four follow-up assessments which:
– will be every six months;
– will take only 1-2 hours; and
– involve answering questions about everyday life, wellbeing and thoughts.

There is no cost to participating. Participants will be reimbursed for their time – they will receive $130 for completing the initial clinical assessment, the neurocognition assessment and the EEG assessment. Participants in the sub-set of people completing the follow-up assessments will receive additional reimbursement of $50 after the completion of each interview.

Participation in the study is completely voluntary. Orygen researchers will ensure participants have all information about the study before they sign up.