Topiramate Plus Antipsychotic Medication Better Than Antipsychotics Alone for Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

May 30, 2017 · Posted in Current Treatments · Comment 

womanA 2016 meta-analysis has shown that the combination of the anticonvulsant topiramate and antipsychotic medication reduces symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders more than antipsychotic medication alone. Researchers led by Christoph U. Correll analyzed the results of eight studies in which the topiramate-antipsychotic combination was compared to antipsychotics alone or with placebo.

The combination of topiramate and antipsychotic medication was superior at reducing general psychopathology, including both negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The combination was also associated with lower body weight and body mass index (BMI) compared to antipsychotics alone.

The studies included in the meta-analysis used a variety of antipsychotic medications. When these were compared, the combination of topiramate and clozapine was more effective than other combinations at reducing psychopathology. However, the combination of topiramate and clozapine was also associated with less weight loss than combinations using other antipsychotics.

In terms of side effects, topiramate was associated with more paresthesia (a burning or prickling sensation, often in the hands or feet) than placebo.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Guanfacine Improves Cognition in Schizophrenia

April 19, 2016 · Posted in Potential Treatments · Comment 

cognitive function in schizophrenia

People with disorders on the schizophrenia spectrum often suffer cognition problems that affect skills such as the processing of information about people and social situations (social cognition) and the execution of plans (executive function). At the 2015 meeting of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, researcher Larry J. Siever reported that the drug guanfacine improved these types of thinking in people with disorders on the schizophrenic spectrum compared to placebo. Participants were enrolled in a 7.5-week training program to improve cognition.

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