The study attempted to identify pretreatment characteristics of chronic schizophrenic patients that would predict remission in psychosis and amount of clinical improvement after treatment with haloperidol. Thirty-five acutely relapsed schizophrenic patients were entered into a blind 6-week treatment protocol. Pretreatment measures were assessed for prediction of both remission status (dichotomous) and for correlations with change in psychopathology (continuous). Later age of onset and higher plasma homovanillic acid values were significant predictors of remission status (model 1). However, higher cerebrospinal fluid levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, as well as indices of normal neurodevelopment, predicted larger changes in psychopathology. The results indicate that the definition of drug response determines the predictive variables. Dopaminergic activity seems to relate to the ability to reach remission, while noradrenergic activity relates to symptom intensity and reduction. In addition to catecholamine activity, neurodevelopmental changes determine response to haloperidol.
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