Dopamine dysregulation in psychotic relapse after antipsychotic discontinuation: an [18F]DOPA and [11C]raclopride PET study in first-episode psychosis

Seoyoung Kim, Sang Ho Shin, Barbara Santangelo, Mattia Veronese, Seung Kwan Kang, Jae Sung Lee, Gi Jeong Cheon, Woojoo Lee, Jun Soo Kwon, Oliver D Howes, Euitae Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although antipsychotic drugs are effective for relieving the psychotic symptoms of first-episode psychosis (FEP), psychotic relapse is common during the course of the illness. While some FEPs remain remitted even without medication, antipsychotic discontinuation is regarded as the most common risk factor for the relapse. Considering the actions of antipsychotic drugs on presynaptic and postsynaptic dopamine dysregulation, this study evaluated possible mechanisms underlying relapse after antipsychotic discontinuation. Twenty five FEPs who were clinically stable and 14 matched healthy controls were enrolled. Striatal dopamine activity was assessed as Kicer value using [18F]DOPA PET before and 6 weeks after antipsychotic discontinuation. The D2/3 receptor availability was measured as BPND using [11C]raclopride PET after antipsychotic discontinuation. Healthy controls also underwent PET scans according to the corresponding schedule of the patients. Patients were monitored for psychotic relapse during 12 weeks after antipsychotic discontinuation. 40% of the patients showed psychotic relapse after antipsychotic discontinuation. The change in Kicer value over time significantly differed between relapsed, non-relapsed patients and healthy controls (Week*Group: F = 4.827, df = 2,253.193, p = 0.009). In relapsed patients, a significant correlation was found between baseline striatal Kicer values and time to relapse after antipsychotic discontinuation (R2 = 0.518, p = 0.018). BPND were not significantly different between relapsed, non-relapsed patients and healthy controls (F = 1.402, df = 2,32.000, p = 0.261). These results suggest that dysfunctional dopamine autoregulation might precipitate psychotic relapse after antipsychotic discontinuation in FEP. This finding could be used for developing a strategy for the prevention of psychotic relapse related to antipsychotic discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sept 2020

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