The effects of a sedative antihistamine, d-chlorpheniramine, on visuomotor spatial discrimination and regional brain activity as measured by positron emission tomography (PET)

Hideki Mochizuki, Manabu Tashiro, Masaaki Tagawa, Michiko Kano, Masatoshi Itoh, Nobuyuki Okamura, Takehiko Watanabe, Kazuhiko Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

25 Scopus citations


Although most people taking antihistamines have experienced sedation and impaired performance, the neural correlates of these sedative properties are not well understood in man. Brain imaging can be used to demonstrate how regional brain activities are altered during such sedative effects. The aim of this study was to visualize the brain mechanism of impaired visuomotor spatial cognition with orally administered d-chlorpheniramine, a first-generation sedative antihistamine, using H215O and positron emission tomography (PET). Normal subjects were randomly assigned to two groups (chlorpheniramine and placebo) and performed a spatial discrimination task after the oral administration of 6 mg d-chlorpheniramine or a placebo. The administration of d-chlorpheniramine impaired visuomotor spatial discrimination and altered cortical and subcortical activity. Decreased and increased activities were observed in the right parietal cortex (BA 40) which is related to visuomotor spatial cognition and the posterior cingulate cortex which constitutes the attention system of the brain, respectively. In particular, the brain activities of BA 40 were negatively and positively correlated to those of bilateral caudate nuclei and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, respectively. These findings clearly suggest that the alteration in the cortical and subcortical activity contributes to impaired spatial cognition caused by treatment with d-chlorpheniramine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-418
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Psychopharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Antihistamines
  • Positron emission tomography and histamine
  • Right parietal cortex (BA 40)
  • Sedation
  • Spatial cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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