Schizophrenia is considered the most important cause of chronic psychiatric disability. In recent years the cognitive and motivational impairment seen in schizophrenia have been determined to be one of the main causes of the profound and persistent disability typically produced by the disorder. Although the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia may improve following treatment a range of cognitive deficits will often persist and the disability resulting from them has recently been considered to have a greater impact on long-term functioning than delusions and hallucinations. Recently a drug called modafinil has emerged as a possible drug to improve cognition in schizophrenia. It was initially prescribed to reduce the fatigue and sedation induced by antipsychotic medication but a review of studies into the drug shows that it may lead to better executive functioning and attention performance in patients with schizophrenia. The drugs effectiveness is affected by the patients' current levels of cognitive functioning, genetic make-up and the other drugs that they are taking at the time allowing for future treatment to be targeted at those most likely to benefit.
Morein-Zamir, Sharon, Turner, Danielle C. and Sahakian, Barbara J. - A review of the effects of modafinil on cognition in schizophrenia Schizophrenia Bulletin November 2007, 33(6), 1298-1306