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Expert Rev Neurother. 2008 Jul;8(7):1029-36. doi: 10.1586/14737175.8.7.1029.

Cognitive remediation: a promising tool for the treatment of schizophrenia.

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  • 1Universit√© Lyon 1, Centre Hospitalier le Vinatier & Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive (CNRS UMR 5229), 67 Blvd Pinel 69675 Bron cedex, France.


Cognitive remediation is a type of treatment added recently to the range of tools available to therapists. It includes a number of miscellaneous methods that aim to correct some of the cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. These cover the fields of target attention, memory and executive deficits, as well as impaired social cognition. Cognitive remediation acts as a complement to medication and psychological therapies, which constitute the core methods of treatment for schizophrenia. The present paper reviews the state of the art in cognitive remediation. The principle underlying this innovative therapeutic approach is the enhancement of the cognitive resources of patients with schizophrenia in order to improve their cognitive functions, social skills and in some cases alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease. Several programs developed within the past two decades (e.g., IPT, CRT, NEAR, CET, NET, CRT and CAT) are becoming more widely used. Their efficacy on neurocognition and on functional outcome has been demonstrated, with inconstant continuation of benefit after completion of treatment. The sustainability of the cognitive and functional improvements following completion of these programs has to be further studied. Other programs aimed at acting upon altered social cognition (one of the critical facets of schizophrenia) are still in the experimental stages, but the results obtained so far are encouraging. A preliminary study has also demonstrated the effectiveness of board games in improving cognitive functioning, which seems to be a highly promising therapeutic avenue owing to its ease of use.

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