AMPA-receptor-positive modulators (Ampakines) facilitate learning and memory in animal models and in preliminary trials in human subjects. CX516 is the first Ampakine to be studied for cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia. Stable schizophrenia patients treated with clozapine (n=52), olanzapine (n=40), or risperidone (n=13) were randomly assigned to add-on treatment with CX516 900 mg three times daily or placebo for 4 weeks. Subjects were assessed with a cognitive battery at baseline, week 4, and at 4-week follow-up. Clinical scales and safety monitoring were also performed. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in a composite cognitive score at week 4 for the intent-to-treat sample. Additional analyses examined change in symptom rating scores and examined drug effects on patients treated with clozapine separately from patients treated with either olanzapine or risperidone. A total of 105 patients were randomized and 95 (90%) completed the 4-week trial. Patients treated with CX516 did not differ from placebo in change from baseline on the composite cognitive score, or on any cognitive test at weeks 4 or 8. The between groups effect size at week 4 for the cognitive composite score was -0.19 for clozapine-treated patients and 0.24 for patients treated with olanzapine or risperidone. The placebo group improved more on the PANSS total score than the CX516 group; no other clinical rating differed between treatment groups. CX516 was associated with fatigue, insomnia and epigastric discomfort compared to placebo, but was generally well tolerated. CX516 was not effective for cognition or for symptoms of schizophrenia when added to clozapine, olanzapine, or risperidone.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by NIH SBIR 1R43 MH59450 (SJ), Stanley grant 03-STN-001 (DG) and NIH K24 MH02025 (DG).