Project 3 Prediction and prevention in early psychosis

Research Theme Prediction and prevention of psychosis

Prediction and prevention of psychosis using biological and other clinical and non-clinical cohort data

The first part of the project will focus on the prediction of outcomes in people who are at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR). As only a minority of people at clinical high risk go on to develop psychotic disorder it is critical to identify those CHR individuals who are most at risk of developing a psychotic disorder and/or poor functional outcome. The study team has already established evidence for a set of biomarker proteins, and clinical experiences and exposures that predict people who transition from CHR to psychosis. The PhD scholar will work as part of this ‘parent’ study team.

The second aspect of this project will focus on the area of prevention of psychotic disorder among the general population. There is some support for the role of omega-3 fatty acids administration in reducing rates of transition among people at clinical high risk to psychotic disorder. There is also now good evidence from population-based studies that suicidal ideation predicts later psychotic disorder. The work of the PhD scholar will build on these studies by exploring, for the first time, the relationship between longitudinal trajectories of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels at ages 7, 8, 15, 17, suicidal ideas and psychotic disorder at age 24. The study will integrate biological, sociodemographic and clinical data from richly-characterised international longitudinal cohorts to inform public health approaches to improve prediction and prevention of psychosis.

This is an exciting project as part of a leading psychosis research team.

Project team

Principal investigators
Professor David Cotter (RCSI)
Dr. David Mongan (RCSI/QUB)
Professor Mary Cannon (RCSI)

Primary institutional base
RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences