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Psychopharmacology

, Volume 187, Issue 2, pp 222–228 | Cite as

Dysfunction of ventral striatal reward prediction in schizophrenic patients treated with typical, not atypical, neuroleptics

  • Georg Juckel
  • Florian Schlagenhauf
  • Michael Koslowski
  • Dimitri Filonov
  • Torsten Wüstenberg
  • Arno Villringer
  • Brian Knutson
  • Thorsten Kienast
  • Jürgen Gallinat
  • Jana Wrase
  • Andreas Heinz
Original Investigation

Abstract

Rational

Clinical studies in patients with schizophrenia suggest that atypical neuroleptics are more effective than typical neuroleptics in reducing negative symptoms including apathy and anhedonia. Dysfunction of the dopaminergic reward system may contribute to negative symptoms in schizophrenia.

Objective

We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the blood oxygen level dependency response in the ventral striatum of medicated schizophrenics and healthy control subjects during reward anticipation.

Methods

Twenty schizophrenics [ten medicated with typical (e.g., haloperidol) and ten with atypical (e.g., olanzapine and risperidone) neuroleptics] and ten age-matched healthy volunteers participated in an incentive monetary delay task in which visual cues predicted that a rapid response to a subsequent target stimulus would result either in monetary gain or no consequence.

Results

Healthy volunteers and schizophrenics treated with atypical neuroleptics showed ventral striatal activation in response to reward-indicating cues, but schizophrenics treated with typical neuroleptics did not. In patients treated with typical neuroleptics, decrease in activation of the left ventral striatum was correlated with the severity of negative symptoms.

Conclusions

Failure to activate the ventral striatum during reward anticipation was previously associated with the severity of negative symptoms in schizophrenia and was also found in schizophrenics treated with typical neuroleptics in this study. Significant blunting of ventral striatal activation was not observed in patients treated with atypical neuroleptics, which may reflect the improved efficacy of these drugs in treating negative symptoms.

Keywords

Accumbens Basal ganglia Reward Schizophrenia Motivation Functional magnetic resonance imaging Antipsychotic agents 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft, HE 2597/4-2) and by investigator-initiated trials funded by Janssen-Cilag Germany and Lilly Germany. We declare that the experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed. Georg Juckel and Florian Schlagenhauf contributed equally to this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Juckel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Florian Schlagenhauf
    • 1
  • Michael Koslowski
    • 1
  • Dimitri Filonov
    • 1
  • Torsten Wüstenberg
    • 2
    • 4
  • Arno Villringer
    • 2
  • Brian Knutson
    • 5
  • Thorsten Kienast
    • 1
  • Jürgen Gallinat
    • 1
  • Jana Wrase
    • 1
  • Andreas Heinz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryCharité University Medical CenterBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyCharité University Medical CenterBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Department of Medical PsychologyGeorg August UniversityGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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