November 22, 2006

Cognitive Enhancement Drugs for Schizophrenia

One of the most serious of common symptoms in schizophrenia are cognitive (thinking) problems that make it very difficult to work or attend school. New drugs that are in development look promising for helping in these areas - but we hope that the NIMH starts some early tests like the CATIE comparison trial (Between old and new drugs) to validate the long term effectiveness of these medications so that people can tell whether they truly are effective. People are much more skeptical now.

A new report (covered by UPI) updates us on the status of the new drugs that are being developed to address these symptoms. While the research is ongoing, the researchers we've talked to have suggested that these drugs are (in early trials) providing some significant benefits to people. Longer term, independent studies will need to be done by the NIMH to verify these claims, and accurately identify the side effects of the medications. The UPI suggested that significant consumer use of these new medications:

"...will come from the cognitive enhancers that are intended to treat the cognitive symptoms of the disease. Targacept/AstraZeneca's drug, which is anticipated to launch in 2011, will be the first to market in this class,..."

"These drugs have enormous potential to have an impact," Manchanda said. "Cognitive symptoms are major debilitating aspects of the disease that hasn't been addressed at all, so if there's a drug that shows even some benefit, its likely to be added on the majority of schizophrenia patients."

"Other drugs being developed in this class include Memory/Roche's nicotinic acetylcholine agonist, MEM 3454, but that is a year or two behind Targacept/AstraZeneca's ispronicline."

Source UPI: Analysis: Shake-up in schizophrenia market

Related Readings:

Cognitive Dysfunction Handbook

Progress in Cognitive Drug Testing

Cognitive Dysfunction Happens Early

Cognitive Impairment Drug Update

New medication in testing for Cognitive Impairment in Schizophrenia



Posted by: Uncle Sam at December 2, 2006 07:28 AM

I hope we develop many more cognitive substances to improve brain health and help with serious mental diseases such as schizophrenia.

Director of Research

Posted by: Douglas J. Phillips II at April 24, 2007 11:45 AM

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