Friday, June 15, 2007

Cognition in schizophrenia - older drugs just as good

People's thought processes are severely impaired in schizophrenia and the more impaired people's functioning is the worse their prognosis. Many studies and literature reviews have suggested that newer 'second-generation' antipsychotics provide greater improvements in people's cognition than older drugs but many of these studies have methodological weaknesses, not least their being funded by the drug industry. A study of 817 people in the U.S. looked into the effectiveness of the newer drugs olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone and ziprasidone and compared them to the older drug perphenazine. After 2 and 6 months of treatment the results for all the drugs showed a broadly similar improvement in patient's cognitive abilities while after 18 months the older drug perphenazine showed a greater improvement than the newer (more expensive) second-generation drugs.

Keefe, Richard S.E. ... [et al] - Neurocognitive effects of antipsychotic medications in patients with chronic schizophrenia in the CATIE trial Archives of General Psychiatry June 2007, 64(6), 633-647

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