Aberrant neuronal coding of reward processing has been linked to psychosis. It remains unresolved how treatment with a partial dopamine agonist affects reward processing, and whether treatment affects reward processing differently in patients responding and not responding to treatment. Here, 33 antipsychotic-naïve psychosis patients and 33 matched healthy controls underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging before and after patients received aripiprazole monotherapy for six weeks. Processing of motivational salient events and negative outcome evaluation (NOE) was examined using a monetary incentive delay task. Psychopathology was assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and responders were identified by having ≥30% reduction in positive symptoms (N=21). At baseline, patients displayed an increased NOE signal in the caudate and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex compared to healthy controls. In the caudate, the NOE signal was normalized at follow-up, and normalization was driven by responders. In responders only, there was a significant improvement in the motivational salience signal in the caudate at follow-up. Motivational salience and NOE signals in the caudate may be associated with a dopaminergic mechanism in patients characterized as responders which may not be the case in non-responders. Likewise, non-dopaminergic mechanism may underly abnormal NOE processing in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

TidsskriftPsychiatry Research
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2023


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