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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2011 Aug;31(4):507-11. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e318222353a.

Antipsychotic-associated mental side effects and their relationship to dopamine D2 receptor occupancy in striatal subdivisions: a high-resolution PET study with [11C]raclopride.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Gil Hospital, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, South Korea.


We examined the relationship between antipsychotic-associated mental side effects and dopamine D2 receptor occupancy in striatal subdivisions using high-resolution positron emission tomography with [11C]raclopride to better characterize the neurochemical mechanism underlying these adverse effects. Twenty-one patients with schizophrenia receiving stable doses of antipsychotics and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy controls completed 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and high-resolution positron emission tomography scans with [11C]raclopride to measure D2 receptor binding potential (BP ND) in the striatum. The D2 receptor BP ND was obtained using a Logan plot, and receptor occupancy was calculated as the percentage reduction of receptor BP ND with drug treatment relative to baseline. The data obtained from age- and sex-matched healthy controls were used as an estimate of the patients' baseline, as previously proposed. Antipsychotic-associated mental side effects were measured with the Liverpool University Neuroleptic Side Effect Rating Scale. The whole striatal D2 receptor occupancy ranged from 54% to 95%. The analysis revealed that the Liverpool University Neuroleptic Side Effect Rating Scale score had significant positive associations with D2 occupancy in the precommissural dorsal caudate, postcommissural caudate, and ventral striatum. The results suggest that mental side effects of antipsychotics are associated with D2 receptor blockade in the associative and limbic subdivisions of the striatum, which are considered to play a crucial role in cognition and reward motivation.

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