Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the effects of quetiapine on abnormalities of early auditory processing in patients with schizophrenia were reflected by mismatch negativity (MMN).
Methods: Subjects were 23 patients with schizophrenia and 23 controls. Psychopathology was rated in patients with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and after 4-week and after 8-week treatments with quetiapine. Auditory stimuli for event-related potentials consisted of 100 ms/1000 Hz standards, intermixed with 100 ms/1500 Hz frequency deviants and 250 ms/ 1000 Hz duration deviants. A stimulus onset asynchrony of each was 300 ms. Electroencephalograph was recorded at Fz. BESA 5.1.8 was used to perform data analysis. MMN waveforms were obtained by subtracting waveforms elicited by standards from those elicited by frequency- or duration-deviant stimuli.
Results: Quetiapine decreased all PANSS scores. Patients showed smaller mean amplitudes of frequency and duration MMN at baseline than did controls. A repeated measure analysis of variance with sessions (i.e. baseline and 4- and 8-week treatments) and MMN type (frequency versus duration) as within-subject factors revealed no significant MMN type or MMN type × session main effect for MMN amplitudes (for MMN type: F = 0.704, df = 1, p = 0.403; for MMN type × session: F = 0.299, df = 2, p = 0.796). Session main effect was significant (F = 3.576, df = 2, p = 0.031). Least square difference tests showed significant differences between MMN amplitudes at 8 weeks and those at both baseline (p = 0.025) and 4 weeks (p = 0.020). MMN amplitudes at 8 weeks were higher than those at baseline.
Conclusions: Quetiapine improved the amplitudes of MMN after the 8-week treatment. MMN offers objective evidence that treatment with the quetiapine may ameliorate preattentive deficits in schizophrenia.