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Dopaminergic modulation of impaired cognitive activation in the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenia

Nature volume 378, pages 180182 (09 November 1995) | Download Citation

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Abstract

DOPAMINERGIC dysregulation remains an empirical cornerstone for theories concerning the causation of schizophrenia. Evidence for a dopamine system dysfunction in schizophrenia includes the psychosis-inducing effects of dopaminergic agonists1,2 and the antipsychotic potency of dopaminergic antagonists3,4. Here we use positron emission tomography (PET) to examine the regulatory role of dopamine on cortical function in normal subjects and unmedicated schizophrenic patients. Using a factorial experimental design, we compared the effect of dopaminergic manipulation with apomorphine on a neural response to a cognitive task. In the schizophrenic patients, relative to controls, an impaired cognitive activation of the anterior cingulate cortex was significantly modulated by a manipulation of dopaminergic neurotransmission. Thus, after apomorphine, the schizophrenic subjects displayed a significantly enhanced cognitive activation of the anterior cingulate cortex relative to the controls. These data provide in vivo evidence that an impaired cognitive-task-induced activation of the anterior cingulate cortex in schizophrenic patients can be significantly modulated by a dopaminergic manipulation.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Wellcome Department of Cognitive Neurology, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK

    • R. J. Dolan
    • , P. Fletcher
    • , C. D. Frith
    • , K. J. Friston
    •  & R. S. J. Frackowiak
  2. Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Roland Hill Street, London NW3, UK

    • R. J. Dolan
    • , P. Fletcher
    •  & K. J. Friston
  3. Department of Psychology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

    • C. D. Frith
  4. MRC Cyclotron Unit, Hammersmith Hospital, Ducane Road, London W12 OHS, UK

    • P. M. Grasby

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https://doi.org/10.1038/378180a0

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