PRESCIENT will examine a range of potential risk factors for young people at Ultra High Risk (UHR) for psychosis, with the aim of creating tools to better predict outcomes and develop the best possible treatment plans.
The study will recruit a large number of participants across Australia, Asia and Europe – and collect a broad range of information about their symptoms, family history and biology – to achieve this. Participants’ data will be pooled so that it can be used and re-used to help current and future generations.
The study is funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It is part of the international Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Schizophrenia (SCZ) Program which was launched in 2020 to address the critical need for more effective treatments for people with schizophrenia and related mental health conditions.
WHAT DOES THIS STUDY INVOLVE?
Participants will be assessed monthly for 12 months and again at 18 and 24 months using the following tests:
• Clinical interviews: participants will be asked about their day-to-day life and activities, behaviour, emotions and moods over the two-year period.
• Neurocognitive tasks: participants will complete tasks that assess their attention and memory, and the way they respond to stimuli.
• Electrical brain activity recording (EEG): participants will have EEGs. EEGs detect electrical activity in your brain using small, metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp.
• Brain imaging scan (MRI): participants will complete functional and structural MRI scans so their brain functioning can be observed over time.
• Blood sample: participants will provide blood samples to analyse potential biomarkers of psychosis risk.
• Saliva sample: participants will provide saliva samples to monitor levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
• Speech sample: participants will be asked to have a 20-minute audio-recorded open conversation with a Research Assistant. Speech patterns and their association with thought disorder will be assessed.
• Video sample: with consent, a participant’s image will be recorded via video so that facial characteristics can be analysed.
• Participants will be invited to record their daily mood and behaviour through a smartphone app (this will be optional).
There are no costs associated with participating in the research project.
However, in recognition of the time and effort involved in participating in the study, participants will be compensated for this as well as expenses associated with completing the research assessments. A breakdown of reimbursements is provided in the consent form.
Participants are eligible if they:
• are aged 12–30 years inclusive;
• understand and sign informed consent; and
• meet UHR or healthy control criteria.
Healthy control participants will be recruited from the community. They must not:
• meet any exclusion criteria or meet UHR criteria, have a current or past Cluster A personality disorder (Paranoid, Schizoid, or Schizotypal Personality Disorders), or a current or past psychotic disorder;
• be receiving any current treatment with psychotropic medication; or
• have a family history (in first-degree relatives) of psychotic spectrum disorders.
Exclusion criteria apply.
Prospective participants need to be current clients at the following PRESCIENT Network sites. You can also contact the study team on [email protected]
• Orygen Specialist Program (Melbourne, Victoria) and Orygen Clinical Trials Unit (OCTU);
• headspaces Craigieburn, Glenroy, Melton, Sunshine and Werribee (Melbourne, Victoria); and
• headspace and headspace Early Psychosis program in Adelaide (Adelaide, South Australia).
• Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong);
• Early Psychosis Intervention Program Clinic (Singapore); and
• Gwangju Early Treatment and Intervention Clinic (South Korea).
• The University of Chile High-risk Intervention Program (UCHIP), Santiago, Chile.
• Centre for Psychiatric Neuroscience (CNP), Department of Psychiatry, Lausanne University Hospital (Switzerland);
• Copenhagen Research Centre for Mental Health (Denmark);
• Forward Thinking Birmingham (United Kingdom); and
• The University Hospital Jena, Department of Psychiatry (Germany); and
• University Hospital of Cologne (UHC), Cologne, Germany.
For more information about this study, see our:
Orygen/University of Melbourne (Professor Barnaby Nelson, Professor Patrick McGorry, Professor Paul Amminger, Professor Alison Yung, Professor Stephen Wood, Associate Professor Andrew Thompson, Dr Jessica Hartmann, Associate Professor Kelly Allott, Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, Dr Hok Pan Yuen, Dr Caroline Gao, Dr Suzie Lavoie, Melissa Kerr, Dr Jacqui Waterkeyn, Dr Angela Scheppokat, Dr Simon D’Alfonso)
headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Professor Debra Rickwood)
University of Adelaide (Dr Scott Clark)
University of New South Wales (Professor Thomas Whitford)
Chonnam National University, South Korea (Professor Sung-Wan Kim)
Institute of Mental Health, Singapore (Associate Professor Swapna Verma)
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong (Professor Eric Chen, Dr Christy Hui, Dr Kit Wa Chan, Dr Simon Lui, Dr Ho Ming Edwin Lee, Dr Wing Chung Chang)
The University of Chile High-risk Intervention Program (UCHIP), Santiago, Chile (Dr. Pablo Arturo Gaspar Ramos)
Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (Associate Professor Gerard Cagney, Professor David Cotter)
University Hospital Jena, Germany (Dr Stefan Smesny, Dr Susanne Straube)
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom (Professor Rachel Upthgrove, Professor Matthew Broome)
University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Professor Merete Nordentoft, Louise Birkedal Glenthoej, Bjørn Ebdrup)
University of Groningen, Netherlands (Professor Marieke Wichers)
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland (Professor Philippe Conus)
University Hospital of Cologne (UHC), Cologne, Germany (Dr. Lana Kambeitz-Ilankovic, Professor Joseph Kambeitz).