Cognitive and Functional Effects of Atypical Antipsychotic Medications




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Several meta-analyses and some direct comparative studies of atypical antipsychotics indicate that these medications may be more effective than conventional antipsychotic medications at enhancing cognition. However, differences in studies exist: short-term studies of cognitive enhancement may not provide similar results to long-term studies, while comparative studies are superior to meta-analyses. Direct measurement of changes in functional capacity may be a desirable study feature, and the population studied, including the treatment subjects receive, is likely to have a substantial impact on the results. Additionally, cognitive enhancement is not a stand-alone phenomenon. Depression and negative symptoms, for example, also affect an individual with schizophrenia and his or her functioning in the real world as opposed to within clinical studies.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(10):e13