A major caveat with investigations on schizophrenic patients is the difficulty to control for medication usage across samples as disease-related neural differences may be confounded by medication usage. Following a thorough literature search (632 records identified), we included 37 studies with a total of 740 medicated schizophrenia patients and 367 unmedicated schizophrenia patients. Here, we perform several meta-analyses to assess the neurofunctional differences between medicated and unmedicated schizophrenic patients across fMRI studies to determine systematic regions associated with medication usage. Several clusters identified by the meta-analysis on the medicated group include three right lateralized frontal clusters and a left lateralized parietal cluster, whereas the unmedicated group yielded concordant activity among right lateralized frontal-parietal regions. We further explored the prevalence of activity within these regions across illness duration and task type. These findings suggest a neural compensatory mechanism across these regions both spatially and chronically, offering new insight into the spatial and temporal dynamic neural differences among medicated and unmedicated schizophrenia patients.
Keywords: Medication; Schizophrenia; fMRI meta-analysis.
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