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Memory deficits repaired.

A combination of neurocognitive enhancement therapy and work therapy improved working memory in schizophrenic patients with varying degrees of cognitive impairment, said 'Morris Bell and his colleagues at Yale University, New Haven (Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 108[2]:101-09, 2003). The study is the first of its kind to show how the effectiveness of memory training in schizophrenics may vary with the severity of illness. A group of 102 adult schizophrenics was divided into two groups--40 severely impaired and 62 less severely impaired--and randomized to receive neurocognitive enhancement therapy (NET) plus work therapy (WT) or WT alone. Mean scores on the Digits Backwards test in the severely impaired patients on NET plus WT improved from 3.6 at baseline, to 4.6 after 12 months. Mean scores for less impaired patients on NET plus WT also improved, from 5.4 at baseline to 6.5 after 12 months, they said. The NET participants did cognitive exercises for up to 5 hours per week for 26 weeks and had a weekly social processing group. The WT included payment of $3.40 per hour for up to 15 hours per week. The Digits Backwards test is an examination in which a series of numbers are read aloud and the subject must recite them back in reverse order, to test memory. The study was limited by the fact that not all participants were interested in work rehabilitation, the researchers commented.
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Title Annotation:Clinical Capsules
Author:Splete, Heidi
Publication:Clinical Psychiatry News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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