Pharmacopsychiatry 2020; 53(01): 21-29
DOI: 10.1055/a-0970-9310
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Acute and Long-term Memantine Add-on Treatment to Risperidone Improves Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Acute and Chronic Schizophrenia

Martin Schaefer
1  Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Addiction Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Essen, Germany
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
,
Susanne Sarkar
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
,
Ines Theophil
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
,
Karolina Leopold
3  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Wenckebachklinikum, Berlin, Germany
,
Andreas Heinz
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
,
Jürgen Gallinat
2  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Charité Mitte, Berlin, Germany
4  Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Center of Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 09 November 2018
revised 25 June 2019

accepted 01 July 2019

Publication Date:
07 August 2019 (online)

Abstract

Introduction Patients with schizophrenia are mainly characterized by negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction. In this proof-of-concept study we tested effects on cognition and negative symptoms of a 6- or 24-week memantine add-on treatment to risperidone in patients with acute or chronic schizophrenia.

Materials and Methods Patients with an acute episode of schizophrenia (n=11) and predominating positive symptoms were randomized to a 6-week add-on treatment with memantine (10 mg twice a day) versus placebo and patients with chronic schizophrenia (n=13) and negative symptoms were randomized to a 24-week add-on treatment with memantine (10 mg twice a day) versus placebo. All patients received antipsychotic medication with risperidone (2–8 mg/day). Psychopathological changes were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and after 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 weeks. Cognitive function was measured at baseline, after 6 weeks, and 24 weeks.

Results Patients with acute schizophrenia who received add-on treatment with memantine showed a significantly higher performance in attention intensity (p=0.043), problem-solving (p=0.043), verbal learning (p=0.050), and flexibility (p=0.049). Patients with chronic schizophrenia showed a significantly higher immediate memory in the memantine group compared to the placebo group (p=0.033) and a significantly greater reduction of the PANSS sum score if compared to the placebo group.

Discussions Our study gives further evidence that memantine add-on treatment to risperidone may have neuroprotective effects and improve cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia. ClinicalTrials.gov Number: NCT00148590 and NCT00148616.

Supporting Information