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Atypical Antipsychotic Treatment Effect On Brain Function In Schizophrenia Measured By FMRI

Information source: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
ClinicalTrials.gov processed this data on August 23, 2015
Link to the current ClinicalTrials.gov record.

Condition(s) targeted: Schizophrenia

Intervention: Risperidone (Drug); Olanzapine (Drug)

Phase: N/A

Status: Completed

Sponsored by: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Official(s) and/or principal investigator(s):
AYSENIL BELGER, Principal Investigator, Affiliation: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


The general aim is to compare the effects of typical and atypical antipsychotic medication on brain structure and function. A parallel group treatment trial will be utilized to compare the effects of the typical antipsychotic thiothixene versus the atypical antipsychotics risperidone (RIS) and olanzapine (OLZ) on brain structure and function in schizophrenia in an effort to determine the neuroanatomic basis for cognitive pathology in schizophrenia and its amelioration by atypical antipsychotic drugs.

Clinical Details

Official title: Risperidone Effects On Frontal And Temporal Cortical Function In Schizophrenia Patients Undergoing FMRI Cognitive Task Performance

Study design: Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Pharmacodynamics Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Primary outcome:

Neurocognitive Assessment Procedure

fMRI activation Tasks

Secondary outcome:

Performance accuracy on Visual-auditory target detection task

Performance accuracy on Auditory oddball target detection task

Detailed description: The general aim of this study was to determine the neuroanatomic basis for cognitive pathology in schizophrenia, as well as the effects of treatment with typical and atypical antipsychotics on clinical symptoms, neurocognition and brain function, as measured with function magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects underwent a randomized parallel group treatment trial that consisted of: a four-week Thiothixene treatment period, followed by randomization, two-weeks cross titration, and six-weeks of double blind treatment with Risperidone (RIS) or Olanzapine (OLZ). Twenty-three patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and fifteen healthy control subjects were initially enrolled. Diagnosis was established with the SCID. Subjects were assessed at two time points, at baseline after four weeks of Thiothixene treatment and at follow up, after eight weeks of double-blind atypical antipsychotic treatment. Controls were assessed once. Symptom severity was assessed using the PANSS. Cognitive functions associated with frontal and temporal cortical regions were probed with a neurocognitive testing battery using standardized attention, executive function and working memory tasks. Frontal and temporal cortical function was assessed with fMRI during the performance of visual and auditory oddball tasks. The visual task oddball task consisted of identifying an infrequent square presented within a series of frequent squares. The auditory oddball task consisted of identifying an infrequent pitch-deviant target tone embedded within a series of frequent standard tones. Thirteen patients and eleven controls completed fMRI at baseline and follow-up. The results indicated that patients treated with the typical neuroleptic Thiothixene showed significantly smaller extents of activations in superior temporal, anterior cingulate and thalamic regions as compared to control subjects during the auditory oddball task. Although treatment with atypical neuroleptics considerably reduced group differences in cortical activation between controls and patients, the current sample size proved to be insufficient to yield statistically significant group by time interactions. The percent signal change data was in the same direction, but proved to be less sensitive to group differences than the extent of activation. The group differences were not pronounced during the visual oddball task, but were in the same direction.


Minimum age: 18 Years. Maximum age: 60 Years. Gender(s): Both.


Inclusion Criteria: Inclusion Criteria for Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Subjects 1. Men and women between ages of 18 to 60 inclusive, of any ethnic origin. 2. Subjects must be right handed. 3. DSM IV criteria for chronic schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. 4. Good physical health as determined by complete physical examination, laboratory tests, and EKG Inclusion Criteria for Healthy Control Subjects: 1. Fifteen individuals, matched to the patient subjects on the basis of age, gender, parental SES, handedness. Exclusion Criteria: Exclusion Criteria for Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Subjects 1. Previous poor response or adverse side effects to thiothixene, olanzapine or risperidone. 2. Left handedness 3. Epilepsy, HIV, or current myeloproliferative disorder 4. Current severe major depression. 5. Current or past history of Substance Dependence (except caffeine or nicotine) 6. Criteria for active Substance Abuse within past 30 days 7. Learning disability 8. Mental Retardation 9. Foreign metal objects or implants as determined by MRI safety questionnaires 10. If judged unsuitable for the study based on other medical or psychiatric condition according to the PIs best clinical judgment. 11. No depot neuroleptic within 60 days before the day of randomization. 12. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and/or unwilling to take a pregnancy test. Exclusion Criteria for Healthy Control Subjects 1. History of psychiatric disorder or current medical illness

Locations and Contacts

Unc Psychiatry, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, United States
Additional Information

Starting date: January 2002
Last updated: April 1, 2015

Page last updated: August 23, 2015

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