Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Long-term effects of risperidone versus haloperidol on verbal memory, attention, and symptomatology in schizophrenia


SOPHIE  RÉMILLARD  a1 , EMMANUELLE  POURCHER  a2 a3 and HENRI  COHEN  a1 a2 a3 c1
a1 Cognitive Science Institute, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada
a2 Quebec Memory and Motor Skills Disorders Research Center, Clinique Sainte-Anne, Québec City, Canada
a3 Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Université Paris Descartes - CNRS, France

Article author query
remillard s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pourcher e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cohen h   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

There is evidence in the literature that cognitive functions in schizophrenia (SC) may be improved by atypical neuroleptics (NLPs) in contrast to typical medication, but there is still controversy regarding this apparent superiority of atypical drugs. In this study, we assessed the differential effects of risperidone and haloperidol on verbal memory, attention, and psychiatric symptoms in SC. The performance of 28 SC participants, randomly assigned to risperidone (2–6 mg/day) or haloperidol (2–40 mg/day), was compared with that of healthy controls. The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT), the d2 Cancellation Test, and the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale were administered at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months. Relative to controls, all SC participants showed markedly impaired verbal memory and processing speed at each assessment period. There was no differential effect between the two NLPs on CVLT and d2 performance. However, risperidone was more effective than haloperidol in reducing psychiatric symptoms. Improvement in symptom severity was not associated with improvement in neurocognitive performance on these specific tests. Neither conventional nor atypical neuroleptic medications improved neurocognitive functioning over a 12-month follow-up, suggesting that psychopathological improvement under risperidone is independent of cognitive function. (JINS, 2008, 14, 110–118.)

(Received January 4 2007)
(Revised July 9 2007)
(Accepted July 10 2007)


Key Words: Cognitive impairment; Neuroleptic; Longitudinal assessment; Neuropsychological deficits; Speed processing; Recall.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence and reprint request to: Henri Cohen, Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Université Paris Descartes-CNRS, 71 Ave. Edouard-Vaillant, Boulogne-Billancourt 92774, France. E-mail: henri.cohen@univ-paris5.fr


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