Pharmacopsychiatry 2015; 48(02): 41-50
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1396801
Review
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

May Non-antipsychotic Drugs Improve Cognition of Schizophrenia Patients?

M. Buoli
1  Department of Psychiatry, University of Milan, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
,
A. C. Altamura
1  Department of Psychiatry, University of Milan, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 08 August 2014
revised 09 November 2014

accepted 13 November 2014

Publication Date:
13 January 2015 (eFirst)

Abstract

Rationale: Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia patients is associated with poor outcome and it represents one of main challenges of pharmacological treatment. Unfortunately, second-generation antipsychotics have not yielded the expected results in the improvement of these symptoms.

Objective: The purpose of the present review paper is to summarize and discuss the available data about the efficacy of non-antipsychotic drugs in the treatment of cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

Methods: A research in the main database sources has been performed to obtain a comprehensive overview. Studies with different methodologies (open and double-blinded) have been included, while studies with schizoaffective patients have been excluded.

Results: Several non-antipsychotic compounds have been tested with the purpose to improve cognitive symptoms in schizophrenia patients, but no molecule has a significant pro-cognitive activity.

Conclusion: Available data do not support the superiority of non-antipsychotic drugs vs. placebo for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia. Preliminary results indicate mirtazapine, mianserine, lamotrigine, tandospirone, cyproheptadine, valacyclovir and omega-3 fatty acids as the most promising compounds, however no definitive conclusions can be drawn in the light of small sample size studies.