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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Frontal D2/3 Receptor Availability in Schizophrenia Patients Before and After Their First Antipsychotic Treatment: Relation to Cognitive Functions and Psychopathology

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BACKGROUND: We have previously reported associations between frontal D2/3 receptor binding potential positive symptoms and cognitive deficits in antipsychotic-naïve schizophrenia patients. Here, we examined the effect of dopamine D2/3 receptor blockade on cognition. Additionally, we explored the relation between frontal D2/3 receptor availability and treatment effect on positive symptoms.

METHODS: Twenty-five antipsychotic-naïve first-episode schizophrenia patients were examined with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, tested with the cognitive test battery Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, scanned with single-photon emission computerized tomography using the dopamine D2/3 receptor ligand [(123)I]epidepride, and scanned with MRI. After 3 months of treatment with either risperidone (n=13) or zuclopenthixol (n=9), 22 patients were reexamined.

RESULTS: Blockade of extrastriatal dopamine D2/3 receptors was correlated with decreased attentional focus (r = -0.615, P=.003) and planning time (r = -0.436, P=.048). Moreover, baseline frontal dopamine D2/3 binding potential and positive symptom reduction correlated positively (D2/3 receptor binding potential left frontal cortex rho = 0.56, P=.003; D2/3 receptor binding potential right frontal cortex rho = 0.48, P=.016).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis of a negative influence of D2/3 receptor blockade on specific cognitive functions in schizophrenia. This is highly clinically relevant given the well-established association between severity of cognitive disturbances and a poor functional outcome in schizophrenia. Additionally, the findings support associations between frontal D2/3 receptor binding potential at baseline and the effect of antipsychotic treatment on positive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe international journal of neuropsychopharmacology / official scientific journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP)
Volume19
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)006
ISSN1461-1457
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

ID: 46462180