The switch from conventional to atypical antipsychotic treatment should not be based exclusively on the presence of cognitive deficits. A pilot study in individuals with schizophrenia

Selva-Vera, Gabriel; Balanzá-Martínez, Vicent; Salazar-Fraile, José; Sánchez-Moreno, José; Martinez-Aran, Anabel; Correa, Patricia; Vieta, Eduard; Tabarés-Seisdedos, Rafael
January 2010
BMC Psychiatry;2010, Vol. 10, p47
Academic Journal
Background: Atypical antipsychotics provide better control of the negative and affective symptoms of schizophrenia when compared with conventional neuroleptics; nevertheless, their heightened ability to improve cognitive dysfunction remains a matter of debate. This study aimed to examine the changes in cognition associated with longterm antipsychotic treatment and to evaluate the effect of the type of antipsychotic (conventional versus novel antipsychotic drugs) on cognitive performance over time. Methods: In this naturalistic study, we used a comprehensive neuropsychological battery of tests to assess a sample of schizophrenia patients taking either conventional (n = 13) or novel antipsychotics (n = 26) at baseline and at two years after. Results: Continuous antipsychotic treatment regardless of class was associated with improvement on verbal fluency, executive functions, and visual and verbal memory. Patients taking atypical antipsychotics did not show greater cognitive enhancement over two years than patients taking conventional antipsychotics. Conclusions: Although long-term antipsychotic treatment slightly improved cognitive function, the switch from conventional to atypical antipsychotic treatment should not be based exclusively on the presence of these cognitive deficits.


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