Cognitive dysfunction underpins some of the psychopathology of schizophrenia, as well as contributes to the
patient's impaired social and vocational functioning and has now been recognized as an intrinsic dimension linked to
functional outcome. Despite a general consensus on the capacity of antipsychotics to improve the psychopathology of
schizophrenia, the dispute concerning their impact on cognitive function is constantly open.
We performed a selective review on the possible effects of antipsychotics, both of first and second generation, for a
cognitive performance improvement. Other than the strict treatment, pharmacological effect and related aspects, such as
dosage and pharmaco-induced brain structure modifications, placebo and practice effect issues have been considered.
Interaction with specific cognitive interventions, such as remediation programs and enhancement treatments are discussed.
On the basis of the current evidence-based findings, the hypothesis that cognition could be substantially influenced by
antipsychotics has so far been demonstrated. Administering antipsychotic medications in an individually optimized
manner seems to have the potential of improving cognitive aspects of schizophrenia, regardless of the kind of