Adjunctive intranasal oxytocin improves verbal memory in people with schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Research, 06/13/2012
Feifel D et al. – This is the first report the authors are aware of documenting a beneficial effect of oxytocin on cognition in schizophrenia. Though from a small sample, these data both offset past concerns about oxytocin's amnestic effects, and may auger another potential benefit in addition to the already–demonstrated salutary effects on other components of the illness.Methods
- As part of a previously reported trial of chronic adjunctive oxytocin in schizophrenia, the authors measured its effect on two cognitive tests: the CVLT (California Verbal Learning Test) and the LNS (Letter Number Sequence).
- Tests were performed at baseline and after 3weeks of treatment.
- The authors found no evidence for an amnestic effect and, in fact, significantly better performance with oxytocin on several subtests of the CVLT; namely total Recall trials 1–5 (p=0.027), short delayed free recall (p=0.032) and total recall discrimination (p=0.020).
- In contrast the authors found no difference between placebo and oxytocin on LNS performance.