Patients with schizophrenia show the same deviant patterns of resting state EEG microstates as patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), according to findings published in Schizophrenia Research: Cognition. These findings provide further evidence that deviant temporal dynamics of EEG microstates may serve as a potential neurophysiological marker for schizophrenia.

The study included adult participants with chronic schizophrenia (n=27), adult control participants (n=27), adolescent participants with 22q11DS (n=30), and adolescent control participants (n=28). For each participant, the researchers analyzed 5 minutes of high-density EEG recordings.

EEG microstates are recurrent topographic distributions of the ongoing scalp potential fields that map the reconfiguration of resting state networks. There are 4 microstate classes: A, B, C, and D.

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After analyzing the EEG microstates, the researchers found that both the participants with schizophrenia and participants with 22q11DS showed increased class C microstate presence and decreased class D microstate presence.

Since class C microstates have been associated with salience resting state networks and class D microstates have been associated with attention resting state networks, these results suggest that participants with schizophrenia or 22q11DS had deviant functions of these networks.

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“While we currently have no information on the resting microstate dynamics in relatives of schizophrenia patients and the heritability of these patterns, deviant EEG microstate dynamics of classes C and D are a promising endophenotype candidate for schizophrenia, which could help to distinguish individuals at risk and allow for early therapeutic intervention strategies,” the researchers wrote.


Tomescu MI, Rihs TA, Roinishvili M, et al. Schizophrenia patients and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome adolescents at risk express the same deviant patterns of resting state EEG microstates: a candidate endophenotype of schizophrenia. Schizophr Res Cog. 2015;2(3):159-165.