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Original Research

Cognitive Functioning and Acute Sedative Effects of Risperidone and Quetiapine in Patients With Stable Bipolar I Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Study

Philip D. Harvey, PhD; Howard Hassman, DO; Lian Mao, MS; Georges M. Gharabawi, MD; Ramy A. Mahmoud, MD, MPH; and Luella M. Engelhart, MA

Published: August 15, 2007

Article Abstract

Objective: Antipsychotic medications differ in their sedative potential, which can affect cognitive performance. The primary objective of this double-blind study was to compare the effects of treatment initiation with risperidone and quetiapine on cognitive function in subjects with stable bipolar disorder.

Method: Subjects had a DSM-IV diagnosis of bipolar I disorder in partial or full remission and a Young Mania Rating Scale score <= 8 at screening. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment sequences: risperidone-quetiapine or quetiapine-risperidone. Subjects in the risperidone-quetiapine sequence received 2 mg of risperidone with dinner and placebo with breakfast during period 1 and 100 mg of quetiapine with dinner and 100 mg with breakfast during period 2. Subjects in the quetiapine-risperidone sequence received the same treatments in reverse order. The 2 treatment periods were separated by a 6- to 14-day washout period. Cognitive function, including attention, working memory, declarative memory, processing speed, and executive functions, was measured before and after dosing. The Visual Analog Scale for Fatigue was also completed. The primary endpoint was a neurocognitive composite score (NCS). The study was conducted from November 2004 through August 2005.

Results: Thirty subjects were randomly assigned; 28 took all doses of study medication and completed a baseline and at least 1 postbaseline assessment in each treatment. On the NCS, significantly better overall cognitive function was seen after risperidone than after quetiapine at each time point after dosing. Subjects performed significantly better after risperidone than after quetiapine (p < .05) on 9 of the 18 individual cognitive outcome measures and significantly better after quetiapine than after risperidone on 1 measure. Sleeping or the need for sleep during the test days was reported in significantly more patients after receiving quetiapine than risperidone.

Conclusions: The results indicate that initiation of quetiapine treatment was associated with more immediate adverse cognitive effects and increased somnolence than risperidone treatment.

Clinical Trials Registration: identifier NCT00097032′ ‹

Volume: 68

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