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April 12, 2005
MATRICS - Improving cognition
Read more... Schizophrenia Research Journal Articles
MATRICS (Measurement and treatment to improve cognition in schizophrenia)
Here are some highlights from the series of articles published in the journal Schizophrenia Research:
1. Marder and Fenton – This article highlights the goals of the MATRICS initiative. The authors comment that current medications, while effective for treatment of psychosis in many individuals, do not help alter the course of the cognitive aspects of schizophrenia. The MATRICS study is designed to help bring together the various entities needed to develop medications that can be helpful in ways other than in treatment of positive symptoms of psychosis. According to the authors, “Neuropsychologists and neurophysiologists with an interest in schizophrenia rekindled an interest in cognition in schizophrenia. There is a greater recognition that impairments in domains that include memory, attention, executive functioning, verbal fluency, and psychomotor performance are experienced, to some degree, by the great majority of individuals with schizophrenia and that these impairments are core features of the disorder.” It is thought that the cognitive features are more consistent and do not wax and wane like some of the positive symptoms can. Also, they are seen as more predictive of future outcome than the level of hallucination and therefore are an important target. The authors describe how there are rodent and other animal models that have recently demonstrated new potential targets for treatment in this area leading to optimism that these targets will also be useful in humans. However, there are many hurdles that preclude immediate development. First there are financial obstacles to overcome. However, the financial gain that a company would reap from such a medication however would be substantial. There is also some difficulty over the standard in which patients will be measured. There are many possibilities, but none that has been decided upon yet.
2. Kern, et al.: This article discusses the conference in which the MATRICS cognitive assessment was discussed. 74 leading experts came for a conference that led to the beginning of the standards set.
Overall, this series of articles is important in outlining the framework for what is one of the most important studies being undertaken currently. While it will be years until much of the data and progress is realized from this project, it will have long lasting implications and will be something to follow closely.
More Information: All the meetings related to MATRICS are listed on their web sites, with transcripts of the meetings and copies of the presentations made at the meetings. These are a very good source of information for people interested in this.
Posted by Jacob at April 12, 2005 05:02 PM
More Information on Schizophrenia Research Journal Articles