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Brain Res Bull. 2005 Apr 30;65(4):291-5.

The effect of Ondansetron on memory in schizophrenic patients.

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  • 1Shalvata Mental Health Center, Department of Psychiatry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.


It has been well established that patients with schizophrenia have impaired cognitive function on neuropsychological tasks related to memory. Previous studies also suggest serotonin's central role in memory. This double-blind crossover study aimed to explore the effect of Ondansetron, a selective serotonin 3 receptor (5-HT(3)) antagonist, on a variety of memory tasks in schizophrenic patients. Clozapine-treated schizophrenic patients in remission (N=21) were randomly treated with Ondansetron or placebo and then evaluated at three consecutive points. These evaluations included clinical measures (including Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia, Clinical Global Impression and Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale) and neuropsychological measures (including Digit Span, Paired Association, Rey-Osterich Complex Figure Test, Digit Symbol and the Rivermead Behavioral Memory Tests). Ondansetron, when compared with placebo, did not affect the above clinical measures and most of the neuropsychological tests. Short-term administration of Ondansetron, however, was associated with significantly improved visuo-spatial memory as measured by the Rey-Osterich Complex Figure Test. These preliminary results suggest Ondansetron's possible role in enhancement of memory function in schizophrenia.

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