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Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Sep 15;60(6):621-9. Epub 2006 Apr 3.

Frontal dopamine D(2/3) receptor binding in drug-naive first-episode schizophrenic patients correlates with positive psychotic symptoms and gender.

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  • 1Center for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia Research, University of Copenhagen, Department of Psychiatry E, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. birte.glenthoj@cnsr.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of the study was to examine extrastriatal dopamine D(2/3) receptor binding and psychopathology in schizophrenic patients, and to relate binding potential (BP) values to psychopathology.

METHODS:

Twenty-five drug-naive schizophrenic patients and 20 healthy controls were examined with single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) using the D(2/3)-receptor ligand [123I]epidepride.

RESULTS:

In the hitherto largest study on extrastriatal D(2/3) receptors we detected a significant correlation between frontal D(2/3) BP values and positive schizophrenic symptoms in the larger group of male schizophrenic patients, higher frontal BP values in male (n = 17) compared to female (n = 8) patients, and - in accordance with this - significantly fewer positive schizophrenic symptoms in the female patients. No significant differences in BP values were observed between patients and controls; the patients, however, had significantly higher BP in the right compared to the left thalamus, whereas no significant hemispheric imbalances were observed in the healthy subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present data are the first to confirm a significant correlation between frontal D(2/3) receptor BP values and positive symptoms in male schizophrenic patients. They are in agreement with the hypothesis that frontal D(2/3) receptor activity is significant for positive psychotic symptoms. Additionally, the data support a thalamic hemispheric imbalance in schizophrenia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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