Early Psychosis


The research projects of the Early Psychosis Department can be categorized in three main objectives:

Brain and behavioural characteristics of specific disturbances in early psychotic disorders

Finding brain and behavioural characteristics of specific disturbances in early psychotic disorders. Identify the relationship between neural activity and specific disturbances in psychotic disorders.

The following projects are performed:

  • Effect of different antipsychotic medication on craving related brain activity
  • Dopamine receptor availability in the striatum before and after dopamine depletion
  • Neurophysiological markers of risk and transition to psychosisb. Identify interacting genetic and environmental factors associated with variation in early psychotic disorders.

We participate in two [multi]national research projects: Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis [GROUP] and the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions [EU-GEI]. In these we focus on co-morbid cannabis use, obsessive-compulsive symptoms and subjective wellbeing.

Identify biological markers in patients with psychotic disorders; we work together with the early psychosis department of the Erasmus University in identifying neurotrofic factors associated with specific characteristics of patients with early psychosis. We also investigate immune system disturbances associated with psychosis.

Developmental trajectories around onset of psychotic disorders

Define the developmental trajectories around onset of psychotic disorders to determine when and how to intervene.

We focus on:

  • Cannabis use and social adjustment as predictors of transition to psychosis
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy to reduce transition to psychosis
  • Reducing duration of untreated psychosis
Develop better interventions of people with early psychotic disorders

Develop better interventions directed at the diverse needs, circumĀ­stances and characteristics of people with early psychotic disorders. It is necessary that clinical research identifies individual patterns of intervention response. The goal is a personalized approach to treatĀ­ment.

We focus on:

  • Early Intervention in Psychosis
  • Identifying clinical relevant subtypes in early psychosis: trait anxiety, attachment, obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Influence of antipsychotic medication on substance use
  • Influence of family intervention on substance use
  • Rehabilitation, Individual Placement and Support