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Systemic sulpiride modulates striatal blood flow: relationships to spatial working memory and planning

Mehta, M. A., McGowan, S. W., Lawrence, Andrew David ORCID:, Aitken, M. R. F., Montgomery, A. J. and Grasby, P. M. 2003. Systemic sulpiride modulates striatal blood flow: relationships to spatial working memory and planning. NeuroImage 20 (4) , pp. 1982-1994. 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.08.007

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The dopamine D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride can produce a range of cognitive deficits in normal volunteers, consistent with those seen in Parkinson's disease (PD). This, together with studies in experimental animals, implies sulpiride might be acting in the striatum. However, subtle changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity are seen following l-Dopa withdrawal in PD during working memory tasks, suggesting that this may be a further site of action for dopamine D2 receptor antagonists. We have investigated the effects of sulpiride within the PFC and striatum in normal male volunteers. In two separate experiments, using identical PET regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) methods, a combined drug and psychological challenge was performed, utilising working memory and planning tasks, and oral sulpiride 400 mg and placebo. Data were analysed using SPM99. Sulpiride increased striatal rCBF bilaterally and the working memory and planning tasks activated discrete frontoparietal networks in keeping with previous studies. However, for the working memory tasks, no changes in performance or task-induced rCBF were observed after sulpiride. For the planning task, improved performance was seen on sulpiride. Also, sulpiride attenuated striatal activity during planning (as assessed using a small volume correction, P < 0.05 corrected), and this attenuation was related to performance changes. These findings suggest that (1) sulpiride produces clear increases in striatal rCBF, (2) in contrast to previous studies no effects of sulpiride on performance of the working memory tasks or the associated neural networks were observed, and (3) sulpiride may modulate performance of more complex cognitive tasks via alterations in striatal neural activity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dopamine; Sulpiride; Working memory; Planning; Positron emission tomography; PFC
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8119
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:10

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