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No cognitive-enhancing effect of GLP-1 receptor agonism in antipsychotic-treated, obese patients with schizophrenia

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OBJECTIVE: Schizophrenia is associated with profound cognitive and psychosocial impairments. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) are used for diabetes and obesity treatment, and animal studies have indicated cognitive-enhancing effects. In this investigator-initiated, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we tested non-metabolic effects of exenatide once-weekly (Bydureon™) in obese, antipsychotic-treated patients with schizohrenia spectrum disorder.

METHOD: Before and after 3 months of exenatide (N = 20) or placebo (N = 20) treatment, patients were assessed with the following: Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS), Rey-Osterreith complex figure test (REY), Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), Personal and Social Performance Scale (PSP) and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We used BACS composite score as the main outcome measure.

RESULTS: Repeated measures analysis of variance on BACS composite score showed significant effect of 'Time' (P < 0.001), no effect of 'Group' (P = 0.64) and no 'Time*Group' interaction (P = 0.77). For REY, SF-36, PSP and PANSS, only significant 'Time' effects were found.

CONCLUSION: The non-significant results of this first clinical trial exploring non-metabolic effects of a long-acting GLP-1RA in patients with schizophrenia could reflect a general problem of translating cognitive-enhancing effects of GLP-1RAs from animals to humans or be explained by factors specifically related to schizophrenia spectrum patients with obesity such as antipsychotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume136
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages11
ISSN0001-690X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 50119900