EEG microstate duration and syntax in acute, medication-naive, first-episode schizophrenia: a multi-center study

Psychiatry Res. 2005 Feb 28;138(2):141-56. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2004.05.007.


In young, first-episode, productive, medication-naive patients with schizophrenia, EEG microstates (building blocks of mentation) tend to be shortened. Koenig et al. [Koenig, T., Lehmann, D., Merlo, M., Kochi, K., Hell, D., Koukkou, M., 1999. A deviant EEG brain microstate in acute, neuroleptic-naive schizophrenics at rest. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience 249, 205-211] suggested that shortening concerned specific microstate classes. Sequence rules (microstate concatenations, syntax) conceivably might also be affected. In 27 patients of the above type and 27 controls, from three centers, multichannel resting EEG was analyzed into microstates using k-means clustering of momentary potential topographies into four microstate classes (A-D). In patients, microstates were shortened in classes B and D (from 80 to 70 ms and from 94 to 82 ms, respectively), occurred more frequently in classes A and C, and covered more time in A and less in B. Topography differed only in class B where LORETA tomography predominantly showed stronger left and anterior activity in patients. Microstate concatenation (syntax) generally were disturbed in patients; specifically, the class sequence A-->C-->D-->A predominated in controls, but was reversed in patients (A-->D-->C-->A). In schizophrenia, information processing in certain classes of mental operations might deviate because of precocious termination. The intermittent occurrence might account for Bleuler's "double bookkeeping." The disturbed microstate syntax opens a novel physiological comparison of mental operations between patients and controls.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Drug Therapy
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders / diagnosis
  • Language Disorders / etiology*
  • Linguistics*
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Schizophrenia / complications*
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors