Immunotherapy and cognition in patients with schizophrenia
The targeted suppression of inflammation packaged can improve the cognitive ability of patients with schizophrenia
A recent study of a handful of patients supports mounting evidence that targeted suppression of inflammation packaged with standard therapy can improve the cognitive ability of patients with schizophrenia, physician-scientists report.
After just two intravenous doses in eight weeks of tocilizumab, an immune-suppressing drug regularly prescribed for rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis, study participants had significantly improved cognitive ability, said Dr. Brian J. Miller, a psychiatrist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
"This adds to the growing evidence that inflammation plays a role in patients with schizophrenia and again suggests that targeting inflammation may be a viable therapeutic target, at least for cognitive impairment, which is a huge area of unmet need," Miller said.
Cognitive problems typically are a major source of dysfunction and disability in these patients and can be among the earliest symptoms of schizophrenia, said Miller, corresponding author of the report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of patients may have inflammation in the brain contributing to that dysfunction. Problems range from having trouble remembering important numbers to impairment of executive function that enables them to analyze, organize, and generally manage their lives.
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Tags: cognition immunotherapy patients schizophrenia inflammation packaged cognitive ability standard therapy drug arthritis therapeutic target disability