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Effects of chlorpromazine on pattern and flash ERGs and VEPs compared to oxazepam and to placebo in normal subjects

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/Evoked Potentials Section
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0168-5597(90)90054-h
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Dopamine
  • Electroretinograms
  • Visual Evoked Potentials
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract Antidopaminergic drugs delay the pattern-reversal VEP (P-VEP) and the flash VEP (F-VEP) and, in separate studies, reductions in the amplitude and increases in the latencies of scotopic ERGs have been reported. This study investigated the effects of chlorpromazine (CPZ) on the pattern ERG (P-ERG), P-VEP, flash ERGs and VEPs and oscillatory potentials (OPs). Normal volunteers (N = 15) were administered a placebo, or a single dose of CPZ 100 mg or oxazepam (OZP) 15 mg at weekly intervals, in a double-blind crossover design. A gold foil-ipsilateral ear derivation and an Oz′-Fz derivation were used for the ERG and VEP recordings, respectively. The latencies of ‘mixed’ and cone ERGs were significantly prolonged after CPZ compared to both placebo and to OZP. Amplitudes of rod- and cone-dominated ERGs were reduced following CPZ administration. All components of the OPs were significantly delayed after CPZ administration. No significant intertreatment differences were found in the F-VEP results. The P-ERG P50 peak and the P-VEP N70 and P100 peaks were significantly delayed after CPZ in the case of 28′ checks but not 55′ checks. Retinocortical times and P-ERG and P-VEP amplitudes were not significantly affected. In contrast to CPZ, the administration of OZP had virtually no significant effects compared to placebo. These findings suggest that the antidopaminergic CPZ has a primary effect on retinal electrophysiology. Similar findings have been reported in Parkinson's disease and in animal models.

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