Effect of risperidone versus haloperidol on emotional responding in schizophrenic patients.
ABSTRACT Studies on emotional processing report that schizophrenic patients present a specific pattern of emotional responding that usually includes deficits in emotional expressiveness, increased feelings of unpleasant emotion but decreased feelings of pleasant emotion, and increased physiological reactivity. However, studies have rarely controlled the nature of antipsychotic medication. Yet, the influence of these drugs on emotional response is uncertain and could vary depending on their pharmacological profile.
This prospective and randomized study aimed to compare the effects of an atypical antipsychotic, risperidone, to a typical one, haloperidol, on patients' emotional responding during an emotional induction task.
Twenty-five schizophrenic patients underwent two emotional and clinical evaluations: one before treatment initiation and a second 4 weeks after. Emotional states of fear, sadness, anger, joy, and disgust were induced, as well as a neutral baseline state. Video recordings of patients during the induction task allowed for assessment of emotional expressiveness. Self-reports and measures of skin conductance and heart rate were performed to determine both subjective and physiological reactions to emotional experience.
Compared to haloperidol, risperidone did not reduce patients' facial expressiveness, decreased physiological reactivity, and decreased experience of unpleasant emotion but maintained experience of pleasant emotion. Emotional expressiveness was negatively correlated to parkisonism.
Our preliminary results suggest that atypical antipsychotics allow for better-adapted patterns of emotional responding than typical ones do. We suggest that this effect is due to reduced striatal D2 blockade, therefore, attenuating akinesia, coupled with increased 5HT and DA levels in prefrontal cortex, which improves emotional regulation.
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ABSTRACT: Previous research investigating the emotion recognition ability in patients with schizophrenia has mainly focused on the recognition of facial expressions. To broaden our understanding of emotional processes in patients with schizophrenia, this study aimed to investigate whether these patients experience and process other emotionally evocative stimuli differently from healthy participants. To investigate this, we measured the cardiac and subjective responses of 33 male patients (9 with and 24 without antipsychotic medication) and 40 male control subjects to emotion-eliciting pictures. Cardiac responses were chosen as an outcome measure because previous research has indicated that these are linked with attentional and emotional processes and provide a more objective measure than self-report measures alone. The differences in cardiac responses between patients and controls were limited to medicated patients: only the medicated patients showed significantly decreased cardiac orienting responses compared with control subjects, regardless of picture contents. These results indicate that medicated patients directed less attention towards emotion-eliciting pictures than controls. Decreased attentional resources while processing emotional evocative stimuli could lead to incorrect appraisals of the environment and may have detrimental emotional and social consequences, contributing to chronic stress levels and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease.Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology 01/2012; 2012:858562.
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ABSTRACT: Facial emotion recognition impairments have been reported in Huntington's disease (HD). However, the nature of the impairments across the spectrum of HD remains unclear. We report on emotion recognition data from 344 participants comprising premanifest HD (PreHD) and early HD patients, and controls. In a test of recognition of facial emotions, we examined responses to six basic emotional expressions and neutral expressions. In addition, and within the early HD sample, we tested for differences on emotion recognition performance between those 'on' vs. 'off' neuroleptic or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications. The PreHD groups showed significant (p<0.05) impaired recognition, compared to controls, on fearful, angry and surprised faces; whereas the early HD groups were significantly impaired across all emotions including neutral expressions. In early HD, neuroleptic use was associated with worse facial emotion recognition, whereas SSRI use was associated with better facial emotion recognition. The findings suggest that emotion recognition impairments exist across the HD spectrum, but are relatively more widespread in manifest HD than in the premanifest period. Commonly prescribed medications to treat HD-related symptoms also appear to affect emotion recognition. These findings have important implications for interpersonal communication and medication usage in HD.Psychiatry research. 10/2012;
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ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, which signifies a potential application for this system in the treatment of this disorder. However, before new research can focus on potential treatments that work by manipulating the endocannabinoid system, it needs to be elucidated how this system is involved in symptoms of schizophrenia. Here we review human studies that investigated acute effects of cannabis or ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on brain functions that are implicated in schizophrenia. Results suggest that the impact of THC administration depends on the difficulty of the task performed. Impaired performance of cognitive paradigms is reported on more challenging tasks, which is associated with both activity deficits in temporal and prefrontal areas and a failure to deactivate regions of the default mode network. Comparable reductions in prefrontal activity and impairments in deactivation of the default mode network are seen in patients during performance of cognitive paradigms. Normal performance levels after THC administration demonstrated for less demanding tasks are shown to be related to either increased neural effort in task-specific regions ('neurophysiological inefficiency'), or recruitment of alternative brain areas, which suggests a change in strategy to meet cognitive demands. Particularly a pattern of performance and brain activity corresponding with an inefficient working memory system is consistently demonstrated in patients. These similarities in brain function between intoxicated healthy volunteers and schizophrenia patients provide an argument for a role of the endocannabinoid system in symptoms of schizophrenia, and further emphasise this system as a potential novel target for treatment of these symptoms.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 12/2013; · 3.55 Impact Factor