Objective: To investigate the effects of galantamine on behavior and cognition in patients with schizophrenia receiving risperidone.
Design: Patients (N=24) were divided into 3 groups of 8 and treated with fixed doses of risperidone (1–6 mg daily) throughout the 4-week study. Groups 1 to 3 had 2 patients on placebo (risperidone-only patients) and 6 patients on galantamine (Group 1, 8 mg bid; Group 2, 12 mg bid; Group 3, 16 mg bid). The standard dose escalation for galantamine was carried out.
Materials and Methods: Psychopathology (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and Clinical Global Impression) and cognitive psychomotor performance (computerized test battery and Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia) were the primary outcome measures. Cognitive psychomotor performance was assessed on Days –1 and 27; neuropsychologic functioning was assessed at baseline and on Day 28. Smoking behavior also was assessed at baseline, when receiving risperidone alone (Day –1 and at baseline), and once weekly thereafter (Days 7, 14, 21, and 28).
Results: Cognitive data are available from 24 patients (M/F: 23/1; mean age: 47; treatment group: galantamine 16–32 mg/day, n = 18, placebo, n = 6). After 4 weeks, patients treated with galantamine demonstrated superior cognitive and behavioral effects compared with placebo-treated patients. A statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) favoring galantamine was shown for the CPT errors of commission and verbal fluency tests. No trends were noted in the patients' psychopathology or smoking measures when comparing those receiving galantamine with those in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Galantamine provides cognitive benefits in patients with schizophrenia treated with risperidone.
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