Abstract

The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia was examined by measuring the density of dopamine receptors in the postmortem brains of 81 control subjects and 59 schizophrenics from four different countries. The densities of dopamine receptors in the tissues from the schizophrenic patients had a bimodal distribution in the caudate nucleus, putamen, and nucleus accumbens. One mode occurred 25 percent above the control density, and a second mode occurred at a density 2.3 times that of the control density for all three regions. Although almost all the patients had been medicated with neuroleptics, the two modes had the same dissociation constant for the labeled ligand used, suggesting that the neuroleptic doses were similar for the two populations of schizophrenics. The results thus provide direct evidence for two distinct categories of schizophrenia.

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