Effects of haloperidol challenge on regional cerebral glucose utilization in normal human subjects

Elsa J. Bartlett, Jonathan D. Brodie, Philip Simkowitz, Stephen L. Dewey, Henry Rusinek, Alfred P. Wolf, Joanna S. Fowler, Nora D. Volkow, Gwenn Smith, Adam Wolkin, Robert Cancro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Objective: Positron emission tomography and the fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) method were used to determine the brain's metabolic response to neuroleptic challenge in a normal, disease-free state. Method: FDG measurements were obtained before and 12 hours after administration of 5 mg of haloperidol to 12 young normal men. These values were compared with test-retest FDG measures obtained from nine normal male control subjects who received no drug intervention. Results: After haloperidol administration, the haloperidol subjects showed significantly lower glucose utilization in the neocortex, limbic cortex, thalamus, and caudate nucleus but not in the putamen or cerebellum. After adjustment for global effects, significant reductions were still evident in the frontal, occipital, and anterior cingulate cortex, whereas the putamen and cerebellum showed significant increases. Conclusions: This study, measuring the brain's metabolic response to acute receptor blockade, is a first step in the development of an assay of CNS pharmacological activity. By determining the response to neuroleptic challenge in a normal state, the study establishes a comparison group for determining response to challenge in various psychiatric conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-686
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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