Initiatives to Promote the Discovery of Drugs to Improve Cognitive Function in Severe Mental Illness
Current pharmacotherapy for treating schizophrenia islimited because treatments focus on positive symptom control rather thanimproving social and vocational function and few new treatments have beendeveloped in the past 50 years. To better facilitate the development oftreatments for the cognitive impairments in schizophrenia and for improvingfunctional outcome in schizophrenia, the Measurement and Treatment Research toImprove Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) program was established. TheMATRICS program has developed a way of measuring outcome in trials ofcognition-enhancing drugs, provided guidelines for doing studies ofcognition-enhancing drugs, and lookedat the most promising molecular targets for improving cognition using differentkinds of pharmacologic agents. By focusing on cognitive impairments and negativesymptoms, the functional outcomes of patients with schizophrenia may beimproved.
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(7):e03