Apomorphine effects on brain metabolism in neuroleptic-naive schizophrenic patients
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Since neuroleptic treatment produces a significant increase in striatal metabolism relative to cortical metabolism, we wished to determine whether the dopamine agonist apomorphine (APO) might have the opposite effect, and whether it would discriminate schizophrenic patients from healthy controls. Eleven neuroleptic-naive schizophrenic patients (diagnosed according to DSM-III) and eight normal subjects were compared with respect to cerebral accumulation of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose measured by positron emission tomography following APO, 0.75 mg/70 kg (weight adjusted), or saline. Relative striatal glucose metabolism decreased significantly after APO in schizophrenic patients but not in control subjects. Post hoc analysis of data in 12 other regions revealed that relative superior temporal metabolism decreased very slightly, but significantly, in schizophrenic patients but not in control subjects after APO, and that the posterior frontal region increased in control subjects but not in the patient group.
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