Spatial and chronic differences in neural activity in medicated and unmedicated schizophrenia patients

Neuroimage Clin. 2022:35:103029. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2022.103029. Epub 2022 May 2.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Parietal Lobe
  • Schizophrenia* / complications
  • Schizophrenia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Schizophrenia* / drug therapy