Recent studies on the neurocognitive effects of second-generation antipsychotic medications

Michael F. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Neurocognitive deficits are core features of schizophrenia, and they are also consistent predictors and correlates of functional outcome. Although the neurocognitive effects of conventional antipsychotic medications have been minimal, the story with regard to second-generation medications is more promising. Over the past year, the literature has been expanded by comprehensive overviews as well as data-based papers. Several of the newer papers are notable in that they take advantage of more specialized measures to explore the nature of neurocognitive effects. The recent overviews point out the limitations of the existing literature, as well as intriguing new avenues. There are now sufficient studies to conclude that second-generation medications convey a neurocognitive advantage compared with conventional medications administered at standard dosages. These advantages, although encouraging, do not bring patients' performance up to that of normal controls. For larger effect sizes, the field may need to consider other types of medications. In general, the literature is starting to move beyond trying to demonstrate the neurocognitive advantages of second-generation medications, and is trying to identify the boundary conditions and implications of any such differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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