February 28, 2012

Treating Schizophrenia

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Chris Galloway, M.D. By:

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Schizophrenia may be improved with cognitive therapy

(dailyRx News) Schizophrenia has long held stigmata attached to it.  To many people, it is considered one of the most severe mental conditions out there.  But there may be good news.

Scientists have discovered that by coupling cognitive therapy with standard therapy, people with schizophrenia have meaningful improvements to not only in their psychosocial skills but to their emotional experiences as well.

"Talk to your doctor about therapies for schizophrenia"

In a study sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers evaluated 60 low-functioning schizophrenic patients with neurocognitive impairment.  The mean age was 38.4 with 33.3% of the participants female and 65% were African American. 

Researchers then randomly split the participants into two groups.  One group received only standard treatment, which included antipsychotic medication, the other received cognitive treatment plus standard treatment which also included antipsychotic medication.

The study showed that patients who received both cognitive and standard treatment, versus those who received just standard treatment, experienced a clinical and meaningful improvement in their psychosocial functioning.  The cognitive treatment, in addition to standard treatment, reduced avolition-apathy (lack of motivation) as well as anhedonia-asociality (lack of capacity to experience pleasant emotions).  

It’s also important to note that the amount of medication received by both groups did not bear a significant difference between groups for the purposes of the study.

This study was sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania through clinicaltrials.gov.  The study was published by Archives of General Psychiatry on February 2, 2012. No funding conflicts were presented.

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Reviewed by: 
Chris Galloway, M.D.
Review Date: 
February 27, 2012

Last Updated:
February 28, 2012