The efficacies of second-generation antipsychotic medications in reducing symptoms are reasonably well-documented, but their effects on cognition are less clearly understood.
To undertake an interim analysis of an open label, 2-year study examining the effects of quetiapine on cognition in patients with a first episode of schizophrenia and related disorders.
Cognitive testing was performed before quetiapine was initiated and repeated after 3, 6 and 12 months of treatment. To date, 13 patients have been fully assessed (mean dose 517.9 mg/day; s.d.=225.8).
Statistically significant improvement was noted on measures of attention (Continuous Performance Test; CPT), verbal productivity (Verbal Fluency Test) and executive function (Object Alternation Test) after 6 and 12 months of treatment. For the CPT, improvement was also noted after 3 months of treatment.
During treatment for 1 year with quetiapine, cognitive performance was improved in young patients with psychosis. Continued controlled investigations of the effects of quetiapine on cognition are desirable.