Event-related potentials and use of psychotropic medication in major psychiatric disorders

Lindy Kool*, Bob Oranje, Hannah Meijs, Bieke De Wilde, Jan Van Hecke, Peter Niemegeers, Jurjen J. Luykx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Attention deficits measured using event-related potentials (ERPs) have been frequently reported in several major psychiatric disorders, e.g. mood disorder (MD), psychotic disorder (PD) and substance use disorder (SUD). However, comparisons between these specific categories are lacking. Here we investigated if electrophysiological parameters of basic information processing are associated with the above-mentioned categories of psychiatric disorders, or instead were associated with general psychopathology. Methods: 579 subjects with MD, PD or SUD and healthy controls (HC) were included. Participants were tested in a passive auditory and an active visual oddball paradigm to assess mismatch negativity (MMN), P3A and P3B amplitudes. Additionally, we examined associations between these measures and psychoactive medication treatments. Results: All patients had significantly lower P3B amplitudes compared to healthy controls, while only SUD patients had lower P3A amplitudes than MD, PD and HC. PD patients also produced significantly less MMN than both MD and SUD patients. Additionally, we found significantly higher P3B amplitude in HC compared to patients without psychopharmacological treatment and patients treated with two or more psychoactive compounds (polypharmacy), but no significant associations with medication on P3A and MMN amplitudes. Conclusions: Our results add to the theory that P3B deficits are associated with general psychopathology, whereas P3A and MMN deficits appear to be associated with substance abuse and psychotic disorders respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114637
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Event-related potentials
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Mood disorders
  • P300
  • Pharmacological treatment
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Selective attention
  • Substance use disorders


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