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09-12-2010 | Mental health | Article

CACR improves general cognition in schizophrenia

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies show that schizophrenia patients who receive computer-assisted cognitive remediation (CACR) show improvements in general cognition, particularly social cognition.

However, Ouriel Grynszpan (Hôpital de La Salpêtrière, Paris, France) and team found that CACR is not effective at targeting specific cognitive domains in such patients.

Writing in the journal Psychological Medicine, the researchers explain: "CACR interventions seem extremely relevant in schizophrenia, where neurocognitive alterations pervade all ability domains and strongly influence the patients' quality of life."

To investigate the effectiveness of CACR for improving cognitive competency in schizophrenia patients, and its ability to target specific cognitive domains, the researchers studied the literature for relevant randomized controlled trials of the technique.

In total, 16 studies involving 805 patients were included in the final meta-analysis.

The researchers found that CACR significantly improved general cognition, at a mean effect size of 0.38, with a significantly larger effect size in the domain of social cognition, at 0.64.

They also found that CACR was associated with significant, but smaller improvements in the domains of verbal memory, working memory, attention/vigilance, and speed of processing, with effect sizes ranging from 0.29 to 0.36.

However, cognitive domains that were specifically targeted by the interventions did not show greater improvements than those that were not.

Grynszpan and team conclude: "The results lend support to the efficacy of CACR with particular emphasis on social cognition."

They add: "The difficulty in targeting specific domains suggests a 'non-specific' effect of CACR."

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Mark Cowen

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