Prediction of response to haloperidol in schizophrenia: Neuroendocrine, neuromorphoiogical and clinical variables

M. C. Mauri, A. Vita, G. M. Giobbio, A. Ferrara, M. Dieci, A. Bitetto, A. C. Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prediction of response to neuroleptics is a crucial topic since drug resistance phenomena can make the management of schizophrenia problematic and further deteriorate the outcome. Cerebral atrophy and enlarged ventricles have been suggested as the structural changes underlying negative symptoms and poor response to neuroleptic treatment. A higher percentage of non-suppressors to the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) among negative schizophrenics has been reported. Twenty-four schizophrenic in-patients, of both sexes, mean age 26.62±5.26 years, diagnosed according to DSM-HI-R, with a mean duration of illness of 4.86±3.99 years, were treated with haloperidol 4–20 mg/day p.o. for 4 weeks. Clinical picture and extrapyramidal side effects were evaluated using BPRS and Simpson and Angus Scale at the beginning and end of the study. Ventricular brain ratio and basal and post-DST cortisol levels were evaluated at admission. The severity of the psychopathological picture, particularly positive symptoms at admission, were correlated to a higher amelioration at BPRS. Patients with ventricular enlargement and non-suppressors to DST showed higher variability of BPRS at baseline and more unpredictable clinical outcome than patients with normal ventricular brain ratio (VBR) and suppressors, even if a real difference in clinical outcome between patients characterized by normal or pathological parameters cannot be defined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • DST
  • Haloperidol
  • Schizophrenia
  • VBR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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