The dopamine D2 receptors were investigated in vivo in eight neuroleptic-free patients with persistent tardive dyskinesia using positron emission tomography and 76Br-bromospiperone. The striatal receptor density, estimated by the striatum/cerebellum radioligand concentration ratio, was not elevated in patients as compared with age-matched controls but was positively correlated with the severity of orofacial dyskinesia assessed with the Abnormal Involuntary Movement Rating Scale. These results indicate that tardive dyskinesia is associated with normal levels of striatal D2 receptors but the severity of orofacial movements may depend on the relative density of striatal D2 receptors.
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