North American Prodrome Longitudinal Study (NAPLS) - UCSF IRB 14-14585

            Mental illness affects many individuals and often begins to develop in adolescence or young adulthood. The primary purpose of the NAPLS study is to improve the ability to identify youth at-risk of developing psychosis and better understand why some young people develop psychosis and others do not. This study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and is part of a consortium of prodromal research sites across North America. Click here for a complete list of the NAPLS sites. 

How to Participate

            After an initial evaluation to determine eligibility, you will participate in an in-depth assessment, followed by continued monitoring assessments at 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 18, and 24 months. Assessments will include personal interviews about your mood and thinking; brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan; collection of blood, urine, saliva; paper and pencil tasks; and brain electroencephalogram (EEG).

            To refer or for a consulation, please contact us at (415) 476-7278. Involvement in our study is free and confidential, and subjects will be compensated for their research participation. In addition, our research team provides feedback and psychoeducation to participants and their families. If indicated, additional recommendations and referrals for treatment will be made, including to the UCSF Early Psychosis Clinic.

Symptoms to Recognize

Unusual Thinking

  • Confusion about what is real or imaginary.
  • Frequent déjà vu.
  • Wondering if people can read minds, hear thoughts.
  • Mystical/philosophical/religious ideas.
  • The familiar feels strange, confusing, threatening, or has special meaning.

Perceptual Abnormalities 

  • It seems that the mind/eyes/ears are playing tricks or are misperceiving reality (for example mistaking a dog barking for someone calling out a name). 
  • Changes in perceptual sensitivity--heightened or dulled. 
  • Unexpected perceptual changes, noises, lights, shadows, geometrical designs, and whispers or hearing one's name called. 
  • Increased sensitivity to smells and tastes.


  • Notions of being watched, singled out, talked about, or plotted against, even if unsure whether it is true.

Disorganized Thinking 

  • Confused or muddled thinking. 
  • Using the wrong words, talking about things irrelevant to context of conversations, or going off track. 
  • Difficulty paying attention or remembering simple things.

Grandiose Ideas 

  • Notions of being especially important, talented, gifted, powerful, or superior to others.

Social Anhedonia or Withdrawal 

  • Decreased interest in spending time or talking with friends or family.
  • Less interested in everyday activities or hobbies.
  • Prefer to be alone.