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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of switching to atypical antipsychotics on memory in patients with chronic schizophrenia.

While the usefulness of atypical antipsychotics for improving cognitive function has been proven, the specific effects of these drugs are still unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate changes of the immediate memory and verbal working memory in patients with chronic schizophrenia after switching to one of four atypical antipsychotic agents and cessation of anticholinergic therapy. The subjects included 77 schizophrenic patients who were treated primarily with typical antipsychotics. Treatment was randomly switched to one of four atypical antipsychotics (olanzapine, perospirone, quetiapine, or risperidone) over a 4-week period, and then the drug was continued for another 4 weeks while the patient was taken off anticholinergics. The immediate memory, verbal working memory, and symptoms were evaluated. Significant improvement of immediate memory was only seen with olanzapine and risperidone. Improvement was also seen after switching to perospirone, but immediate memory worsened after treatment with this anticholinergic drug was discontinued. Deterioration was seen after switching to quetiapine, but immediate memory improved and reached the previous level after treatment with anticholinergic drugs was discontinued. Significant improvement of the verbal working memory was only seen during risperidone administration. The findings suggested that switching chronic schizophrenic patients to atypical antipsychotics can improve both the immediate memory and the verbal working memory when risperidone is used, while improvement of immediate memory can be expected with olanzapine. From the viewpoint of improving the memory, quetiapine should not be administered concomitantly with anticholinergic drugs, and caution should be exercised when discontinuing anticholinergic drugs during treatment with perospirone.[1]


  1. Effect of switching to atypical antipsychotics on memory in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Mori, K., Nagao, M., Yamashita, H., Morinobu, S., Yamawaki, S. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry (2004) [Pubmed]
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