Effects of haloperidol challenge on regional cerebral glucose utilization in normal human subjects

Am J Psychiatry. 1994 May;151(5):681-6. doi: 10.1176/ajp.151.5.681.


Objective: Positron emission tomography and the fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) method were used to determine the brain's metabolic response to neuroleptic challenge in a normal, disease-free state.

Method: FDG measurements were obtained before and 12 hours after administration of 5 mg of haloperidol to 12 young normal men. These values were compared with test-retest FDG measures obtained from nine normal male control subjects who received no drug intervention.

Results: After haloperidol administration, the haloperidol subjects showed significantly lower glucose utilization in the neocortex, limbic cortex, thalamus, and caudate nucleus but not in the putamen or cerebellum. After adjustment for global effects, significant reductions were still evident in the frontal, occipital, and anterior cingulate cortex, whereas the putamen and cerebellum showed significant increases.

Conclusions: This study, measuring the brain's metabolic response to acute receptor blockade, is a first step in the development of an assay of CNS pharmacological activity. By determining the response to neuroleptic challenge in a normal state, the study establishes a comparison group for determining response to challenge in various psychiatric conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cerebellum / drug effects
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / drug effects
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyglucose / metabolism
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Limbic System / drug effects
  • Limbic System / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism
  • Putamen / drug effects
  • Putamen / metabolism
  • Thalamus / drug effects
  • Thalamus / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose
  • Haloperidol