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Psychol Med. 1994 May;24(2):423-9.

Stereotypy, schizophrenia and dopamine D2 receptor binding in the basal ganglia.

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Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, London.


Animal models suggest a relationship between disturbed striatal dopaminergic function and stereotyped behaviour. Several studies show increased stereotypy in schizophrenic patients compared to normal controls. We investigated the performance of 12 antipsychotic-drug-free schizophrenic patients, and 15 healthy control subjects on a neuropsychological measure of stereotypy--the two-choice guessing task--and correlated this with in vivo striatal dopamine D2 receptor binding, as measured by 123I-iodobenzamide single photon emission tomography. Patients and controls did not differ with respect to the measures of stereotypy derived from the task. However, there was a significant correlation between one of these measures (RR Information) and the degree of striatal D2 receptor binding asymmetry in the patient group only. In view of research connecting striatal and frontal lesions with stereotypy in animals and cognitive inflexibility in humans, these data could suggest a similar disturbance underlying the phenomenon in schizophrenia.

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