Restoration of frontal activation during a treatment with quetiapine: An fMRI study of blunted affect in schizophrenia

Emmanuel Stip, Cherine Fahim, Adham Mancini-Marïe, Lahcen Ait Bentaleb, Boualem Mensour, Adrianna Mendrek, Mario Beauregard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated changes in cerebral activation related to emotion processing in schizophrenia patients with blunted or flat affect (FA+) during treatment with quetiapine. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain activation in 12 FA+ schizophrenia patients during passive viewing of sad film excerpts was studied before and after a median of 5.5-months treatment with quetiapine. Random-effects 'paired sample t-test' analyses of brain activation before quetiapine (contrast=sad-neutral, before-after) revealed significant activation in the brainstem (pons, medulla). After quetiapine, the same contrast showed significant prefrontal activation (BA 9, 10 and 11). Activation of key prefrontal areas involved in emotion processing and significant symptoms improvement as measured by the subjective rating scale and PANSS suggests the potential effect of quetiapine in improving blunted affect related symptoms (i.e., passive withdrawal, emotional withdrawal, social avoidance) in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Blunted affect
  • Emotions
  • Negative symptoms
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Quetiapine
  • Schizophrenia
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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