Abstract

The present study aimed to assess the neurocognitive effects of atypical and conventional antipsychotic drugs on neurocognition under naturalistic treatment conditions. Eighty-two patients with schizophrenia underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment both at baseline during inpatient treatment and 6 months after discharge from hospital (follow-up). From this sample, we selected two subgroups of patients, which had either a continuous atypical (n=33) or conventional (n=16) antipsychotic medication. Twenty-seven out of 40 healthy controls were also retested to control for practice effects. Both patient groups showed a moderate and significant improvement in global cognitive functioning. The repeated measurement ANOVAs revealed no differential treatment effects for all neuropsychological domains. These results remained after controlling for potential confounders between groups. Administering antipsychotic medications in an individually optimized manner seems to have the potential to improve some aspects of neurocognition in schizophrenia, regardless of the kind of antipsychotic medication.