A generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". People experiencing psychosis may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs, and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living. People with schizophrenia have terrifying symptoms such as hearing voices, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. They typically have enduring problems with memory, attention, and problem solving. Other less obvious symptoms are social isolation, problems understanding social interactions and knowing how to behave in social situations, and unusual speech and behavior.

Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS)

The Staglin Music Festival Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS) is a clinical research center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA. CAPPS specializes in identifying and treating adolescents and young adults (between the ages of 12 and 35) at high risk for developing psychotic disorders, in the “prodromal” phase of schizophrenia. CAPPS aims to protect vulnerable youth in hopes that the full- blown illness does not develop.  The majority of assessment and treatment services offered at CAPPS are free of charge. 

Efforts to reduce the rates of psychosis in youth are as critical as ever. Psychotic disorders continue to rank among the top ten causes of disability worldwide, causing tremendous suffering for both affected youth and their families. The research in this field is growing quickly thanks to our prodromal consortium across the United States and Canada.  The more our community stays informed and recognizes early signs in youth, the greater an impact we can have in decreasing suffering and disability.

CAPPS is funded by the Staglin Music Festival for Mental Health, the nation’s leading charity event aimed at finding ways to treat and ultimately cure mental illness through brain research, and grants from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH).

Carrie Bearden, Ph.D.
The Center for the Assessment and Prevention of Prodromal States (CAPPS)

Prodromal Research Program

The primary goal of the Prevention Research Program is to provide prodromal participants with a structured, high quality clinical care setting within which the Center research can take place. The objectives of this core are to recruit patients with prodromal symptoms and demographically comparable healthy controls, to conduct diagnostic and screening evaluations of potential participants to determine study eligibility and to coordinate their participation in the Center’s projects.

Prevention Research Program Investigators include, Tyrone Cannon, Ph.D., Mary O’Brien, Ph.D., Carrie Bearden, Ph.D., Melita Daley, M.D., Joseph Pierre, M.D., Alex Kopelowicz, M.D.

For more detailed information about the Prevention Research Program please visit


At the inception of the Prodromal Research Program, very little was known about the psychosis prodrome. The initial set of publications from the Prodromal Resarch Program focused on phenomenological aspects of the psychosis prodrome (Meyer et al. 2005; Niendam et al. 2007), and continuity with first episode schizophrenia in terms of symptomatology (Willhite et al. 2008) and cognition (Niendam et al. 2006). In collaboration with other researchers in this field, we developed a new measure of social and role functioning that is better suited for use in adolescent populations (Cornblatt et al. 2007). Recently, we have taken advantage of our prospectively collected longitudinal data to examine neurobiological (Karlsgodt et al. 2008; Sabb et al., submitted; Sanz et al., submitted), cognitive (Niendam et al. 2007) and clinical (Niendam et al., submitted) predictors of functional outcome and conversion to psychosis in this at-risk population. A parallel set of studies has focused on family factors that predict outcome in at-risk youth (OBrien et al., 2007; OBrien et al., under review).

Aggression and the link to psychosis in patients with dementia

Geriatric Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Aggression and the link to psychosis in patients with dementia

Presented by Denis Shub, M.D. Geriatric Psychiatry 

Event detail
28 Feb 2011 - 12:00 - 13:00

Prevention Trial of Family Focused Treatment in Youth at Risk for Psychosis

Project summary

This project conducts a four-site randomized, controlled prevention study of family-focused treatment versus treatment as usual in youth who meet criteria for a prodromal risk syndrome.

Is Schizophrenia on the Autism Spectrum?

Psychiatry Grand Rounds


Richard Heyler Invited Lecture - 'Is Schizophrenia on the Autism Spectrum?'


Bryan King, M.D.

Professor and Vice Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital


Educational Objectives:


  1. To review the clinical intersection of autism and schizophrenia and to highlight areas of overlap
  2. To make the case that these disorders may in some cases be manifestations of a shared diathesis


NEW--Podcast Preview available on the website,


Event detail
11 May 2010 - 11:00 - 12:30

Blue/Orange Bonus: Schizophrenia with Dr. Carrie E. Bearden

Carrie Bearden, associate professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute, discussed her research into brain-based traits that may provide clues to the underlying causes of psychosis and bipolar disorder in an April 30 segment of KPCC 89.3 FM’s “L.A. Theater Works.”

The Philip R.A. May, MD, Memorial Lecture: 'Schizophrenia and the hidden life of genes'

Psychiatry Grand Rounds


The Philip R.A. May, MD, Memorial Lecture
Schizophrenia and the hidden life of genes
David L. Braff, M.D.
Professor,Department of Psychiatry
University of California, San Diego


NEW--Podcast Preview available on the website,


Coffee will be served in the auditorium foyer beginning at 10:45 AM. As always, free continuing educational credits are available for Grand Rounds; please be sure that you have filled out the forms to receive credit for your attendance.


Event detail
23 Mar 2010 - 11:00 - 12:30