Treating Impaired Cognition in Schizophrenia
H. M. Ibrahim and C. A. Tamminga
Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Medical Center 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390- 9086, USA.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia that substantially accounts for poor functional outcomes
associated with this disease in areas such as work, independent living and social relationships. Until recently, drug
development in schizophrenia has focused on developing compounds that mainly target the positive psychotic symptoms
of the illness. Although current antipsychotic drugs treat psychosis in schizophrenia rather well, their impact on cognitive
dysfunction is minimal. In recent years there has been growing interest in developing novel treatments for cognitive deficits
in schizophrenia. In this review we discuss pharmacologic strategies considered most likely to improve cognition.
These putative molecular targets include receptors for acetylcholine, dopamine, glutamate, g-aminobutyric acid (GABA),
serotonin and histamine. In addition, we propose that not only pharmacological, but also psychological treatments should
be considered to enhance cognition in schizophrenia.
Keywords: Cognition, Acetylcholine, Glutamate, Dopamine, Histamine, Serotonin, GABA, Cognitive remediation, core feature, schizophrenia, social relationships, schizophrenia, psychotic symptoms, pharmacologic strategies
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