Send to

Choose Destination
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Jul;34(8):1161-77. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Assessing cognitive function in clinical trials of schizophrenia.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is an important target for novel therapies. Effectively measuring the cognitive effects of compounds in clinical trials of schizophrenia could be a major barrier to drug development. The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) programme produced a consensus cognitive battery which is now widely used, however alternative assessments have advantages and disadvantages when compared with MATRICS. The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is a computerised assessment developed from animal behaviour paradigms and human neuropsychology. We review the utility of CANTAB according to MATRICS and CNTRICS recommendations. CANTAB tests have been used in more than 60 studies of psychotic disorders. Their neural bases are well understood through patient and neuroimaging studies and directly equivalent tests in rodents and non-human primates. The tests' sensitivity to pharmacological manipulation is well established. Future studies should collect more data regarding psychometric properties in patients over short time periods, and should continue to study the tests' relationships to functional outcomes. Computerised cognitive assessment may optimise the statistical power of cognitive trials by reducing measurement error and between-site variability and decreasing patient attrition through increased tolerability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center