A summary of the FDA-NIMH-MATRICS workshop on clinical trial design for neurocognitive drugs for schizophrenia.
ABSTRACT On April 23, 2004, a joint meeting of the FDA, NIMH, MATRICS investigators, and experts from academia and the pharmaceutical industry was convened to develop guidelines for the design of clinical trials of cognitive-enhancing drugs for neurocognitive impairments in patients with schizophrenia.
Experts were asked to address specific questions relating to clinical trial design of adjunctive/co-treatment and broad spectrum agents. At the workshop, experts reviewed relevant evidence before offering the discussion panel proposed guidelines for a given subset of questions. The discussion panel, which consisted of presenters and representatives from FDA, NIMH, academia, and industry, deliberated to reach consensus on suggested guidelines. When evidence was insufficient, suggested guidelines represent the opinion of a cross-section of the presenters and discussion panel.
Guidelines were developed for inclusion criteria, the use of co-primary outcome measures, and statistical approaches for study design. Consensus was achieved regarding diagnostic and concomitant medication inclusion criteria and on the use of cognitive screening measures. A key guideline was to limit the trial to patients in the residual phase of their illness, who have a predefined level of positive, negative, and affective symptoms. The most difficult issues were the feasibility of including a co-primary measure of functional improvement and the choice of comparator agent for a trial of a broad spectrum agent (with antipsychotic and cognitive-enhancing effects).
The suggested guidelines represent reasonable starting points for trial design of cognitive-enhancing drugs, with the understanding that new data, subsequent findings, or other methodological considerations may lead to future modifications.
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ABSTRACT: Several efforts to develop pharmacological treatments with a beneficial effect on cognition in schizophrenia are underway, while cognitive remediation has shown modest effects on cognitive performance. Our goal was to test if pharmacological augmentation of cognitive training would result in enhancement of training-induced learning. We chose modafinil as the pharmacological augmenting agent, as it is known to have beneficial effects on learning and cognition. 49 participants with chronic schizophrenia were enroled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study across two sites and were randomised to either modafinil (200mg/day) or placebo. All participants engaged in a cognitive training program for 10 consecutive weekdays. The primary outcome measure was the performance on the trained tasks and secondary outcome measures included MATRICS cognitive battery, proxy measures of everyday functioning and symptom measures. 84% of the participants completed all study visits. Both groups showed significant improvement in the performance of the trained tasks suggesting potential for further learning. Modafinil did not induce differential enhancement on the performance of the trained tasks or any differential enhancement of the neuropsychological and functional measures compared to placebo. Modafinil showed no significant effects on symptom severity. Our study demonstrated that combining pharmacological compounds with cognitive training is acceptable to patients and can be implemented in large double-blind randomised controlled trials. The lack of differential enhancement of training-induced learning raises questions, such as choice and optimal dose of drug, cognitive domains to be trained, type of cognitive training, intervention duration and chronicity of illness that require systematic investigation in future studies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.European Neuropsychopharmacology 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.03.009 · 5.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA) is a measure of Functional Capacity and assesses skills involved in community tasks. It has good psychometrics properties, and is currently recommended as a co-primary assessment of cognition in the MATRICS Project. To our knowledge so far, there are no studies in western developing countries concerning Functional Capacity in Schizophrenia. The aims of this study were to translate, culturally adapt and validate the UPSA to assess Functional Capacity in community-dwelling patients with Schizophrenia living in Brazil. Eighty-two subjects (52 patients, 30 controls) were evaluated using: the Brazilian version of the UPSA (UPSA-1-BR), PANSS, Personal and Social Performance (PSP) and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF). In the reliability test, UPSA-1-BR showed good Internal Consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.88) and strong correlation between test and retest (4-month gap; r = 0.91; p < 0.01). Spearman’s rho values showed a moderate correlation between UPSA-1-BR and both PSP (0.50; p < 0.01) and GAF (0.46; p < 0.01) scores. UPSA-1-BR is capable of differentiating people with and without Schizophrenia. Patients scored lower than controls (58.9 versus 79.1), with an AUC of 0.79 (95%IC: 0.69–0.89). Sensitivity and specificity values of 0.71 and 0.70, respectively, were found in the cut-off point of 73.5, for separation of patients and controls, with predictive values of 80% (positive) and 58% (negative). UPSA-B-BR was also evaluated. UPSA-1-BR and its brief version presented adequate psychometric properties and proved to be valid and reliable instruments in the assessment of Functional Capacity in subjects with Schizophrenia.01/2015; 22(1). DOI:10.1016/j.scog.2014.12.002
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ABSTRACT: Previously institutionalized older patients with schizophrenia show changes in cognitive and functional capacity over time. This study examined changes in real-world functioning in a sample of people with schizophrenia who varied in their history of long-term institutionalization and related changes in real world functioning to changes in cognition and functional capacity over the follow-up period. Older patients with schizophrenia (n = 111) were examined with assessments of cognitive functioning, functional capacity, clinical symptoms, and everyday functioning. They were then followed up to 45 months and examined up to two times. Mixed-model regression was used to examine changes in real-world functioning in social, everyday living, and vocational domains over the follow-up period and identify potential predictors of change. Everyday functioning worsened over time in all three domains. Although length of longest hospitalization predicted worsening, this influence was eliminated when the course of functional capacity was used to predict the course of everyday functioning. For both vocational and everyday living domains, as well as the composite score on functional status, worsening in performance based measures of everyday functioning and social competence predicted worsening in real world functioning. Changes in negative symptoms further predicted worsening in the everyday living domain. Worsening in everyday functioning is found in people with schizophrenia and those with a history of greater chronicity and severity of illness seem more affected. These influences seem to be expressed through worsening in the ability to perform everyday functional skills. Potential causes of these changes and implications for reducing these impairments are discussed.03/2014; 1(1). DOI:10.1016/j.scog.2014.03.001