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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2003 Dec;18(8):641-6.

EEG abnormalities associated with antipsychotics: a comparison of quetiapine, olanzapine, haloperidol and healthy subjects.

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Department of Psychiatry, Section of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Munich, Germany.


In this study the effects of the atypical antipsychotics quetiapine and olanzapine, and the typical antipsychotic haloperidol on EEG patterns were retrospectively investigated in 81 patients under stable monotherapy with either drug (quetiapine: n=22, olanzapine: n=37, haloperidol: n=22). These three subgroups were compared with a control group of healthy subjects (n=30) which were matched regarding sex and age. Diagnoses of patients were schizophrenia (DSM-IV 295.xx, n=61), brief psychotic disorder (DSM-IV 298.8, n=9), schizoaffective disorder (DSM-IV 295.70, n=8) and delusional disorder (DSM-IV 297.1, n=3). There were no statistically significant differences regarding demographic characteristics between the groups. Digital EEG recordings were retrieved from a database and visually assessed by two independent investigators, and one blinded regarding medication. One patient from the quetiapine group (5%), 13 olanzapine patients (35%), five of the haloperidol patients (23%) and two subjects of the control group (7%) had an abnormal EEG. Epileptiform activity was observed in four patients (11%) of the olanzapine group, and none in the others. EEG abnormalities were statistically significantly increased with dose in the olanzapine group, in contrast to patients treated with haloperidol, quetiapine or healthy subjects. In conclusion, EEG abnormalities seem to occur rarely in patients treated with quetiapine comparable to the control group, but significantly more often with haloperidol and olanzapine, possibly due to different receptor profiles of these substances. To our knowledge, this is the first electrophysiological investigation comparing the new atypical antipsychotics quetiapine, haloperidol, olanzapine with healthy subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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