Department of Psychiatry, University of Basel, Switzerland
Early clinical detection in psychotic disorders has become a major objective of mental health services, while research on the early phases of the disorder may provide important clues to the pathophysiology underlying psychotic symptoms. Thus, the identification of a clinical syndrome that reflects a predisposition to schizophrenia is fundamental from a clinical and a research perspective. The onset of schizophrenia is usually preceded by a prodromal phase characterized by functional decline and subtle negative symptoms. Structural and functional neuroimaging techniques including brain connectivity analyses have rapidly developed into a powerful tool in psychiatry. In this presentation it will be aimed to show that neuroimaging studies of the prodromal phases of psychosis have the potentials to identify core markers of vulnerability to psychosis and to clarify the onset of psychosis.