Presynaptic Striatal Dopamine Dysfunction in People at Ultra-high Risk for Psychosis: Findings in a Second Cohort

Alice Egerton*, Christopher A. Chaddock, Toby T. Winton-Brown, Michael A. P. Bloomfield, Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Paul Allen, Philip K. McGuire, Oliver D. Howes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Using positron emission tomography (PET), we previously observed increases in 3,4-dihydroxy-6-[F-18]fluoro-L-phenylalanine (F-18-DOPA) uptake in the striatum of subjects at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis, indicating elevated presynaptic dopamine synthesis capacity. The purpose of this study was to test if this finding would be replicated in a second UHR cohort.

Methods: F-18-DOPA PET was used to estimate dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum of an entirely new cohort of 26 individuals at UHR for psychosis (14 males, mean +/- SD age = 22.7 +/- 4.7 years) and 20 healthy volunteers matched for age and gender (11 males, mean +/- SD age = 24.5 +/- 4.5 years).

Results: Dopamine synthesis capacity was elevated in the whole [t(44) = 2.6; p = .01, effect size = .81] and associative striatum [t(44) = 2.6; p = .01, effect size = .73] of UHR compared with control subjects. When the two samples were combined to give a final sample of 32 control and 50 UHR subjects, the higher levels of dopamine synthesis capacity in the UHR group reached significance across the whole [F(1,81) = 11.0; p = .001], associative [F(1,81) = 12.7; p = .001], and sensorimotor [F(1,81) = 4.7; p = .03], but not the limbic [F(1,81) = 2.1; p = .2], striatum.

Conclusions: The findings indicate that elevated dopamine synthesis capacity in the dorsal striatum is a robust feature of individuals at UHR for psychosis and provide further evidence that dopaminergic abnormalities precede the onset of psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalBiological psychiatry
Volume74
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Dopamine
  • imaging
  • positron emission tomography
  • psychosis
  • schizophrenia
  • striatum
  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • HIGH-CLINICAL-RISK
  • SYNTHESIS CAPACITY
  • SCHIZOPHRENIA
  • BRAIN
  • PET
  • TRANSMISSION
  • AMPHETAMINE
  • RELEASE
  • SCALE
  • Acknowledged-BRC
  • Acknowledged-BRC-13/14

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