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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.

Citation

H M Ibrahim, C A Tamminga. Treating impaired cognition in schizophrenia. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology. 2012 Jun;13(8):1587-94

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PMID: 22283754

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