June 26, 2005

Meds Improve Cognitive Functioning?

SCHIZOPHRENIA; Seroquel and risperidone improve cognitive function

Recently, results from a new study conducted by AstraZeneca, show that Seroquel and risperidone are effective "in improving cognitive function, such as memory and attention, in patients with schizophrenia."

Though, this is good news, there are certain things to be a cautious of when considering these results. We would keep the study in mind, but wait until the study been repeated, by truly independent researchers before we consider it too strongly. Companies in all fields, including the pharmaceutical industry, have a strong tendancy to publish only positive results related to their products, and may at times present findings, or do a study, in such a way that they may be misleading to the average reader - this is called "marketing", and this is why skepticism is always a good idea when dealing with any company marketing materials in any industry.

We believe that in this case, that this study is likely the only study thus far that yields such results, and so its important to wait for results from new studies by independent research groups investigating these medications before drawing any solid conclusions.

Nevertheless, if these medications do indeed have positive effects such as improving cognitive function, they may improve the management of schizophrenia:

"Cognitive function and treatment compliance are important components to the successful, long-term management of schizophrenia. Specifically, patients who take medications that are effective and well-tolerated, and who stick to that treatment, are more likely to manage their illness successfully," said Philip Harvey, PhD, department of psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The results of these studies reconfirm the tolerability of Seroquel, as measured by treatment adherence, and its ability to improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia."
For patients with schizophrenia, cognitive functioning often is impaired, which can be a significant barrier to long-term recovery. To date, few studies have directly compared atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of cognitive function.

Original Source(from a press/marketing release from Astra Zeneca):


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