Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 294
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825537

Differences in cortical activation by a working memory task after substitution of atypical neuroleptics

S Ufer 1, T Frodl 1, E Kraft 1, M Wiesmüller 1, H Brückmann 1, HJ Möller 1, EM Meisenzahl 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Department of Neuroradiology of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich

We predicted that substitution of atypical antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia would be associated with enhanced functional activation of the frontal cortex.

Using fMRI we measured BOLD changes during periodic performance of a working memory task (CPT) in schizophrenic patients on two occasions (before and 12 weeks after treatment with quetiapine or risperidone). So far, 8 patients with schizophrenia have been studied.

Substitution of the atypical antipsychotic drugs, Risperidone or Quetiapine, increased functional activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, while the number of correct answers in the CPT was equal for both occasions.

These results suggest that there is enhanced frontal function in schizophrenic patients after substitution of atypical antipsychotic drugs.