Cerebellar and thalamic metabolic changes visualized by [18]-FDG-PET in olanzapine-induced acute akathisia.

OBJECTIVES: Akathisia is a clinical important symptom, frequently induced by neuroleptic treatment. Despite its clinical importance, less is known about its pathophysiology.

METHODS: Using [18]-FDG-PET, imaging patterns of cortical metabolic activity were obtained in a patient during olanzapine-induced akathisia and after recovery.

RESULTS: Akathisia was characterized by a reduced metabolic activity in thalamus and cerebellum. After discontinuing medication akathisia disappeared, reflected by a recovery of metabolic activity in these brain areas.

CONCLUSION: [18]-FDG-PET may be useful to identify cortical regions mediating clinical aspects of drug-induced akathisia, thereby offering a deeper insight into the pathophysiology of this serious side effect.

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