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Nicotine enhances antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls


Petrowsky, N; Ettinger, U; Quednow, B B; Landsberg, M W; Drees, J; Lennertz, L; Frommann, I; Heilmann, K; Sträter, B; Kessler, H; Dahmen, N; Mössner, R; Maier, W; Wagner, M (2013). Nicotine enhances antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 16(07):1473-1481.

Abstract

Nicotine has been proposed to be a cognitive enhancer, particularly in schizophrenia patients. So far, the published studies of nicotine effects on antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients only tested participants who were deprived smokers. Thus, we aimed to test both smoking and non-smoking patients as well as healthy controls in order to extend previous findings. Moreover, we employed a paradigm using standard and delayed trials. We hypothesized that, if nicotine is a genuine cognitive enhancer, its administration would improve antisaccade performance both in smoking and non-smoking participants. A total of 22 patients with schizophrenia (12 smokers and 10 non-smokers) and 26 controls (14 smokers and 12 non-smokers) completed the study. The effects of a nicotine patch (14 mg for smokers, 7 mg for non-smokers) on antisaccade performance were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Schizophrenia patients made significantly more antisaccade errors than controls (p = 0.03). Both patients and controls made fewer antisaccade errors in the delayed trials than in the standard trials (p < 0.0001). Nicotine significantly reduced antisaccade error rate in the standard trials, but not in the delayed trials (p = 0.02). Smoking status did not influence the nicotine effect on antisaccade error rate (p = 0.10) indicating an equal procognitive effect of nicotine in smokers and non-smokers. Overall the present findings indicate that beneficial effects of nicotine on antisaccade performance are not confined to smoking schizophrenia patients. Instead, the findings likely represent genuine nicotine-induced enhancement of cognitive performance.

Abstract

Nicotine has been proposed to be a cognitive enhancer, particularly in schizophrenia patients. So far, the published studies of nicotine effects on antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients only tested participants who were deprived smokers. Thus, we aimed to test both smoking and non-smoking patients as well as healthy controls in order to extend previous findings. Moreover, we employed a paradigm using standard and delayed trials. We hypothesized that, if nicotine is a genuine cognitive enhancer, its administration would improve antisaccade performance both in smoking and non-smoking participants. A total of 22 patients with schizophrenia (12 smokers and 10 non-smokers) and 26 controls (14 smokers and 12 non-smokers) completed the study. The effects of a nicotine patch (14 mg for smokers, 7 mg for non-smokers) on antisaccade performance were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Schizophrenia patients made significantly more antisaccade errors than controls (p = 0.03). Both patients and controls made fewer antisaccade errors in the delayed trials than in the standard trials (p < 0.0001). Nicotine significantly reduced antisaccade error rate in the standard trials, but not in the delayed trials (p = 0.02). Smoking status did not influence the nicotine effect on antisaccade error rate (p = 0.10) indicating an equal procognitive effect of nicotine in smokers and non-smokers. Overall the present findings indicate that beneficial effects of nicotine on antisaccade performance are not confined to smoking schizophrenia patients. Instead, the findings likely represent genuine nicotine-induced enhancement of cognitive performance.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:11 February 2013
Deposited On:03 Jul 2013 11:50
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:51
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1461-1457
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145713000011
PubMed ID:23399382

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