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      Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex and its attentional modulation in the human S-ketamine and N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) models of psychosis.

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          Abstract

          Patients with schizophrenia exhibit diminished prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex and deficits in the attentional modulation of PPI. Pharmacological challenges with hallucinogens are used as models for psychosis in both humans and animals. Remarkably, in contrast to the findings in schizophrenic patients and in animal hallucinogen models of psychosis, previous studies with healthy volunteers demonstrated increased levels of PPI after administration of low to moderate doses of either the antiglutamatergic hallucinogen ketamine or the serotonergic hallucinogen psilocybin. The aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of moderate and high doses of the serotonergic hallucinogen N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and the N-methyl-D-aspartate antagonist S-ketamine on PPI and its attentional modulation in humans. Fifteen healthy volunteers were included in a double-blind cross-over study with two doses of DMT and S-ketamine. Effects on PPI and its attentional modulation were investigated. Nine subjects completed both experimental days with the two doses of both drugs. S-ketamine increased PPI in both dosages, whereas DMT had no significant effects on PPI. S-ketamine decreased and DMT tended to decrease startle magnitude. There were no significant effects of either drug on the attentional modulation of PPI. In human experimental hallucinogen psychoses, and even with high, clearly psychotogenic doses of DMT or S-ketamine, healthy subjects failed to exhibit the predicted attenuation of PPI. In contrast, PPI was augmented and the startle magnitude was decreased after S-ketamine. These data point to important differences between human hallucinogen models and both animal hallucinogen models of psychosis and naturally occurring schizophrenia.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J. Psychopharmacol. (Oxford)
          Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)
          SAGE Publications
          0269-8811
          0269-8811
          May 2007
          : 21
          : 3
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Technology Aachen (RWTH), Aachen, Germany.
          Article
          21/3/312
          10.1177/0269881107077734
          17591658
          4ceeee28-6e35-41ec-8d5e-10752c14cae7
          History

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