SINAPPS group studies

The SINAPPS group has a number of studies currently running.


The PPiP study aims to understand if some cases of psychosis are caused by immune system problems in some people.



The immune system normally controls our ability to fight infection. If the immune system goes wrong it may cause diseases called ‘autoimmune’ diseases. We can diagnose some of these autoimmune diseases using blood tests. We are specifically interested in antibodies affecting the N-methyl D-aspartate receptors (NMDA-r) or other neuronal membrane targets that may be the cause symptoms of psychosis and possibly cause some cases of schizophrenia. We are working with Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services across England to estimate the prevalence of these autoimmune diseases in people with first episode psychosis.


The first phase of the PPiP study included patients from EIP

services between 14-35 years of age who were experiencing their

first episode of psychosis and had been taking antipsychotic

medication for less than 6 weeks.

This study included patients from over 30 sites across England.

PPiP-1 ceased recruitment on 30th December 2015.

Preliminary results can be found here.




The second phase of the PPiP study includes patients from inpatient and community mental health services between 18-70 years of age who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis or relapse of psychosis symptoms after remission (there needs to be a period of at least 6 months of remission prior to the current episode).

PPiP2 includes patients from over 30 sites across England and will

continue to recruit patients until the end of August 2020.

map_ppip sites_uk


Social Media

You can keep up to date with the PPiP study by following

@PPiPstudy on twitter

or visiting

This study is funded by the MRC.


Feasibility Study - SINAPPS-1

Feasibility and acceptability of immunotherapy in antibody positive FEP



We are developing a completely new approach to the investigation and treatment of people with the major neuropsychiatric disorder, schizophrenia. SINAPPS group aims to treat people who test positive for NMDAR (and other similar) antibodies in a similar way to people diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis, using immunological methods.


Currently we have funding to run a feasibility randomised controlled trial (RCT) that will test the fesibility and safety of using immunotherapy in patients with first episode psychosis and autoantibodies. This trial will also allow us to develop biomarkers to understand an ‘immune psychosis endophenotype’ and gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of psychosis more generally.


SINAPPS 1 is now recruiting until July 2017.





This study is funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute.


SINAPPS1_squarelogo_use SMRI

Social Media

You can keep up to date with the PPiP study by following

@sinapps_group on twitter

or visiting


Clinical Trial - SINAPPS-2

A randomised phase II double-blinded placebo-controlled trial of intravenous immunoglobulins and rituximab in patients with antibody-associated psychosis


We are in the process of setting up a clinical trial to investigate the use of IVIG and Rituximab in antibody positive patients.


It is due to begin recruitment in 2017.










This trial is funded by the Medical Research Council.