New Data Indicate Cognitive Benefits for First Episode Schizophrenia Patients Prescribed Quetiapine

Apr 27, 2001, 01:00 ET from AstraZeneca

    WHISTLER, British Columbia, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was
 issued today by AstraZeneca:
 
     First Episode Schizophrenia Network Meeting -- New data presented today at
 the fourth annual scientific meeting of the European First Episode
 Schizophrenia Network, indicate that long term treatment with the atypical
 antipsychotic quetiapine is associated with significant improvements in
 cognitive functioning among young people experiencing their first episode of
 acute schizophrenia.
     The preliminary results of the 28 patient study, conducted by Professor
 Lili Kopala and colleagues from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, show
 that compared with baseline assessments, improvements in important areas of
 cognitive function, including attention, language, memory and executive
 function were seen in all nine patients who have so far completed one year of
 quetiapine treatment (mean daily dose; 476mg).
     'These young people are at a stage in their lives where study, social
 interaction and personal development are extremely important,' commented Prof
 Kopala.  'We know that older conventional antipsychotic agents can worsen the
 cognitive effects of the illness itself, which can have devastating
 consequences for the patient.  In contrast, these results suggest that
 quetiapine can improve cognitive functioning, and perhaps, enable these young
 patients reach their full potential in the future.'
     The cognitive dysfunction sometimes associated with schizophrenia is
 thought to be linked to abnormal circuits in the brain including the basal
 ganglia.  The basal ganglia have also been identified as important mediators
 of the movement (extrapyramidal symptoms or EPS) that are frequently observed
 among treatment-naive schizophrenia patients.  Professor Kopala has examined
 for the first time the effect of quetiapine on these pre-existing EPS in
 antipsychotic naive subjects among her study participants.  Preliminary
 results of this arm of the study indicate that quetiapine does not cause EPS
 and in addition, appears to correct underlying basal ganglia dysfunction.
     'This is preliminary data, but it does suggest that unlike typical
 antipsychotics, which cause motor and cognitive impairment, quetiapine may be
 one of the safest atypical agent treatment options in vulnerable patient
 groups such as those at first episode of their illness.'  Professor Lili
 Kopala concluded.
 
 

SOURCE AstraZeneca
    WHISTLER, British Columbia, April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was
 issued today by AstraZeneca:
 
     First Episode Schizophrenia Network Meeting -- New data presented today at
 the fourth annual scientific meeting of the European First Episode
 Schizophrenia Network, indicate that long term treatment with the atypical
 antipsychotic quetiapine is associated with significant improvements in
 cognitive functioning among young people experiencing their first episode of
 acute schizophrenia.
     The preliminary results of the 28 patient study, conducted by Professor
 Lili Kopala and colleagues from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, show
 that compared with baseline assessments, improvements in important areas of
 cognitive function, including attention, language, memory and executive
 function were seen in all nine patients who have so far completed one year of
 quetiapine treatment (mean daily dose; 476mg).
     'These young people are at a stage in their lives where study, social
 interaction and personal development are extremely important,' commented Prof
 Kopala.  'We know that older conventional antipsychotic agents can worsen the
 cognitive effects of the illness itself, which can have devastating
 consequences for the patient.  In contrast, these results suggest that
 quetiapine can improve cognitive functioning, and perhaps, enable these young
 patients reach their full potential in the future.'
     The cognitive dysfunction sometimes associated with schizophrenia is
 thought to be linked to abnormal circuits in the brain including the basal
 ganglia.  The basal ganglia have also been identified as important mediators
 of the movement (extrapyramidal symptoms or EPS) that are frequently observed
 among treatment-naive schizophrenia patients.  Professor Kopala has examined
 for the first time the effect of quetiapine on these pre-existing EPS in
 antipsychotic naive subjects among her study participants.  Preliminary
 results of this arm of the study indicate that quetiapine does not cause EPS
 and in addition, appears to correct underlying basal ganglia dysfunction.
     'This is preliminary data, but it does suggest that unlike typical
 antipsychotics, which cause motor and cognitive impairment, quetiapine may be
 one of the safest atypical agent treatment options in vulnerable patient
 groups such as those at first episode of their illness.'  Professor Lili
 Kopala concluded.
 
 SOURCE  AstraZeneca