Assessment of Pharmacotherapy for Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia
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- Hanson, E., Healey, K., Wolf, D. et al. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2010) 12: 563. doi:10.1007/s11920-010-0148-0
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Negative symptoms in schizophrenia include diminished ability to communicate, motivate, and socialize as potentially debilitating aspects of the illness that are associated with long-term impairment. Despite such burden, the domain has been underrepresented in drug development and treatment research. In this article, we review research regarding pharmacotherapy for negative symptoms, with a focus on studies published during the past 2 years. Clearly positive studies were limited to N-methyl-D-aspartate agonists, while antipsychotics and antidepressants did not show substantial benefit, and cognitive enhancers have yielded mixed results. Proof-of-concept studies of other agents such as minocycline and omega fatty acids yielded promising, albeit preliminary findings that warrant replication. Study outcomes and designs are discussed along with implications for future research.