Article

Effects of nicotine nasal spray on cognitive function in schizophrenia.

Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical School, Hewlett, NY, USA.
Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 7.83). 04/2006; 31(3):637-43. DOI: 10.1038/sj.npp.1300881
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schizophrenics have among the highest rates of cigarette smoking. Some studies indicate that cigarette smoking or nicotine may ameliorate some of the cognitive or theoretically related neurophysiological deficits seen in schizophrenic patients. This study investigated the effects of nicotine nasal spray on measures of attention, verbal memory, and visual-spatial memory in schizophrenic patients who were chronic smokers, using a double-blind placebo-controlled pre-post experimental design. Compared to placebo, active nicotine spray significantly decreased reaction time on the Conner's CPT and improved scores on a measure purported to reflect spatial working memory on a dot task. There were trends for the increased number of hits and decreased number of errors in pre-post comparisons on the CPT task in the active nicotine session. There were no effects of active nicotine nasal spray on verbal memory. Our results suggest that nicotine may modestly enhance attention and spatial working memory in schizophrenic patients who are cigarette smokers and have been abstinent overnight.

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