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Schmitt, G. J. E.; Meisenzahl, Eva M.; Frodl, Thomas; la Fougère, Christian; Hahn, Klaus; Möller, Hans-Jürgen; Dresel, Stefan (2005): The striatal dopamine transporter in first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenic patients: evaluation by the new SPECT-ligand[99mTc]TRODAT-1. In: Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 19, No. 5: pp. 488-493




Following the current hypothesis that acute schizophrenic psychotic illness is associated with a triatal ‘hyperdopaminergic state’, presynaptic integrity and dopamine transporter (DAT) density in first-episode, neuroleptic-naive schizophrenic patients was measured by single-photonemission- tomography (SPECT) and compared with that in healthy control subjects. A new SPECT-ligand for assessment of the striatal DAT, the Technetium-99m-labelled tropane TRODAT-1 ([99mTc]TRODAT-1), was used. Ten inpatients suffering from a first acute schizophrenic episode and 10 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects underwent SPECT with [99mTc]TRODAT-1. On the day of SPECT, psychopathological ratings were performed with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) and Schedule for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS). Patients had not previously received any neuroleptic or antidepressant medication. Mean specific TRODAT-1 binding in the striatum did not differ significantly between the patient and the age- and sex-matched control group (1.25 vs. 1.28). Variance was significantly higher in the patient group. The data obtained with the new ligand in first-episode, drug-naive schizophrenic patients are in line with the PET results from the group of Laakso et al. in a comparable patient sample. [99mTc]TRODAT-1 seems to be a valuable new SPECTligand in the evaluation of the presynaptic site of the striatal dopaminergic synapse in schizophrenia.