CSF dopamine turnover and positive schizophrenic symptoms after withdrawal of long-term neuroleptic treatment

Ede Frecska, András Perényi, György Bagdy, Katalin Révai

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Dopamine (DA), dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and homovanillic acid (HVA) were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 14 schizophrenic inpatients before and 2 weeks after withdrawal of long-term neuroleptic medication. Total neuroleptic-like activity (NLA) in serum was determined at the same times. DA and its metabolites (DOPAC and HVA) were significantly reduced after neuroleptic discontinuation. NLA was substantially diminished. The decrease in DA and DOPAC was positively correlated with positive symptoms of postwithdrawal deterioration, and low prewithdrawal DOPAC level predicted severe relapse. These results are compatible with the hypothesis linking an overregulated central DA system to the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1985



  • Schizophrenia
  • biochemical changes
  • neuroleptics
  • psychopathology
  • withdrawal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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