Cognitive deficit in schizophrenia and its neurochemical basis

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Cognitive impairment is a central feature of schizophrenia and has been correlated with negative symptoms and impaired social functioning. There is a growing body of data suggesting that the so-called atypical antipsychotic drugs (e.g. clozapine, risperidone, and olanzapine) are better at enhancing cognitive function than traditional neuroleptics. Preclinical studies of information processing using a pre-pulse inhibition model show that the mechanism of action of both olanzapine and clozapine for cognitive enhancement may involve glutamatergic/N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonism. Using positron emission tomography, we have described the metabolic and neurochemical correlates of cognitive impairment induced by glutamatergic/NMDA antagonism. A better understanding of the underlying causes of cognitive impairment may contribute to elucidating the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the development of more efficacious treatments for this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-18
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberFEB. SUPPL. 37
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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