Second-generation antipsychotic effect on cognition in patients with schizophrenia-a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

R. E. Nielsen, S. Levander, G. Kjaersdam Telléus, S. O.W. Jensen, T. Østergaard Christensen, S. Leucht

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Objective: To investigate the effect of second-generation antipsychotics on cognitive function in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Method: Multiple-treatments meta-analysis model. Results: On cognitive composite score, sertindole was superior to clozapine, effect size (ES) 0.87; 95% CI: 0.12-1.63, quetiapine, ES 0.75; 95% CI: 0.00-1.49, and first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs), ES 0.89; 95% CI: 0.14-1.64. Analyses on each cognitive domain showed clozapine, ES 0.37; 95% CI: 0.00-0.74, olanzapine, ES 0.31; 95%CI: 0.02-0.59, quetiapine, ES 0.34; 95% CI: 0.03-0.64, and FGAs, ES 0.51; 95% CI: 0.18-0.83 performing poorer on verbal working memory than ziprasidone, as well as FGAs performing poorer than risperidone, ES 0.31; 95% CI: 0.04-0.58. On executive function, sertindole performed better than clozapine, ES 0.82; 95% CI: 0.06-1.58, olanzapine, ES 0.81; 95% CI: 0.07-1.55, quetiapine, ES 0.76; 95% CI: 0.02-1.51, ziprasidone, ES 0.90; 95% CI: 0.14-1.67, and FGAs, ES 0.83; 95% CI: 0.08-1.58. On processing speed, FGAs performed poorer than sertindole, ES 0.97; 95% CI: 0.02-1.91, and quetiapine, ES 0.36; 95% CI: 0.01-0.72. On long-term verbal working memory, clozapine performed poorer than olanzapine, ES 0.41; 95% CI: 0.06-0.76. On verbal fluency, FGAs performed poorer than olanzapine, ES 0.26; 95% CI: 0.01-0.50, and clozapine, ES 0.44; 95% CI: 0.06-0.81. Lastly, FGAs, ES 0.41; 95% CI: 0.04-0.78, and clozapine, ES 0.44; 95% CI: 0.05-0.83, performed poorer on visuospatial skill compared to olanzapine. Conclusion: The meta-analysis was able to detect some trends in the data analyzed, but did not show any drug having a uniform positive cognitive profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-196
Number of pages12
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Antipsychotics
  • Cognition
  • Meta-analysis
  • Schizophrenia


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