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Adjunctive treatment for cognitive impairment in patients with chronic schizophrenia: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Authors Zhu W, Zhang Z, Qi J, Liu F, Chen J, Zhao J, Guo X

Received 16 March 2014

Accepted for publication 19 May 2014

Published 14 July 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 1317—1323


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 5

Weiwei Zhu,1,2,* Zhanchou Zhang,1,* Jingfeng Qi,1 Fang Liu,3 Jindong Chen,1,4,5 Jingping Zhao,1,4,5 Xiaofeng Guo1,4,5

1Institute of Mental Health, Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, 2Brain Hospital of Hunan Province, Changsha, 3First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Kunming, 4National Technology Institute of Psychiatry, 5Key Laboratory of Psychiatry and Mental Health of Hunan Province, Changsha, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Cognitive impairment is closely related to real-life functioning in patients with schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of adjunctive treatment with donepezil on cognition in patients with chronic schizophrenia. This was a 12-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of donepezil as an adjunct to antipsychotic drug therapy in patients with chronic stable schizophrenia. Sixty-one subjects were randomized to receive donepezil 5 mg/day (n=31) and/or placebo (n=30). A nine-test neuropsychological assessment battery was administered at baseline and at the end of the study. At the 12-week end point, the donepezil group showed significant improvements in the Wechsler Memory Scale Third Edition Spatial Span, Brief Visuospatial Memory Test total recall and delayed recall, Trail-Making Test Part A, and Category Fluency Test-animal naming (all P≤0.018). Compared with placebo, donepezil was associated with significant improvement in several cognitive domains, including working memory, speed of information processing, and visual learning and memory (P≤0.008). The results of the present study suggest that adjunctive use of donepezil is beneficial for improving cognitive function in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords: schizophrenia, cognitive function, donepezil

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