Clozapine’s ability to enhance the orienting function in patients with schizophrenia may help them focus on objects and thoughts of interest, according to researchers who observed the drug’s affects in 32 individuals with the disorder.
Noting that attentional deficits are prominent in the cognitive profile of those with schizophrenia, investigators sought to determine if clozapine – already proven to improve symptoms of psychosis – might also help with attention problems.
Schizophrenia patients were measured for altering, orienting and executive controls of attention, using the revised attention network test. They were measured pre- and post-treatment, and then compared with 32 healthy controls.
Individuals with schizophrenia showed deficits in all three areas before treatment. After being treated wither the atypical antipsychotic, orienting function improved. However, alerting and executive control showed no signs of improvement.
Citation: Spagna A, Dong Y, Mackie M, et al. Clozapine improves the orienting of attention in schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2015; Published online Aug 19, 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2015.08.009.