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Friday 01 July 2005

Cerebral cortical gray expansion associated with two second-generation antipsychotics.

By: Garver DL, Holcomb JA, Christensen JD.

Biol Psychiatry 2005 Jul 1;58(1):62-6

BACKGROUND: Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) differ from first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) with respect to induction of less extrapyramidal morbidity, partially reducing negative symptoms, and causing modest improvement in neurocognitive functioning in patients with schizophrenia. SGAs demonstrate 5-HT2a antagonism. Differential effects of SGAs and FGAs on cortical gray volumes are explored herein. METHODS: Cerebral cortical gray was examined volumetrically in 19 patients with schizophrenia before and following 28 days of treatment with two SGAs (risperidone and ziprasidone; n = 13) or a FGA (haloperidol; n = 6). Seven (untreated) control subjects were also assessed at a similar interval. RESULTS: During treatment with the SGAs risperidone and ziprasidone, cerebral cortical gray of 13 patients with schizophrenia expanded 20.6 +/- 11.4 cc (p < .0005). Six patients receiving the FGA haloperidol, as well as 7 control subjects, showed no change in cortical gray volumes (p = .983 and p = .932, respectively) at the time of reassessment. CONCLUSIONS: Volumetric increase of cerebral cortical gray occurred early in the course of treatment with the SGAs ziprasidone and risperidone, but not with the FGA haloperidol. Such cortical gray expansion may be relevant to the reported enhanced neurocognition and quality of life associated with SGA treatment.

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