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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 1995 Feb;15(1 Suppl 1):19S-23S.

Positron emission tomography studies on D2 and 5-HT2 receptor binding in risperidone-treated schizophrenic patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


By the use of positron emission tomography (PET), high central dopamine D2 receptor occupancy (70 to 90%) has been demonstrated in patients treated with conventional neuroleptics. In patients treated with the atypical antipsychotic clozapine, the D2 occupancy was low (20 to 67%). The effects of clozapine may thus be mediated by a mechanism distinct from D2 occupancy. The observation that low doses of clozapine (125 to 175 mg daily) induced more than 80% (5-hydroxytryptamine) 5-HT2 occupancy supports the view that 5-HT2 antagonism may be related to the atypical effects of clozapine. Risperidone is a new antipsychotic drug with high affinity in vitro for both central 5-HT2 and D2 receptors. In this study, we determined the D2 and 5-HT2 occupancy induced by clinical treatment with risperidone. Four patients with acute exacerbation of schizophrenia were examined by PET after 4 weeks of treatment with risperidone, 6 mg daily. The D2 occupancy in the striatum was 75 to 80%. The 5-HT2 occupancy in the neocortex was 78 to 88%. This study confirms that, in patients with schizophrenia, treatment with risperidone induces a high D2 and 5-HT2 occupancy. Risperidone is, accordingly, a suitable drug for the examination of the clinical benefit of combined serotonin and dopamine antagonism.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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