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Effects of Cognitive Remediation on Cognition in Young People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01619319
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 14, 2012
Last Update Posted : September 5, 2014
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jean Addington, M.D., University of Calgary

Brief Summary:
Onset of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, typically occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood often resulting in chronic social and occupational disability. Deficits in cognition and functional outcome often precede the onset of full-blown psychosis although to a lesser degree than observed in schizophrenia. Recent progress in risk identification methodology has enabled reliable detection of persons who appear to be putatively prodromal for psychosis, that is, at clinical high risk (CHR) of developing a psychotic disorder. Since these CHR individuals already evidence cognitive deficits, which increase around the time of conversion, cognition is an excellent treatment target. Furthermore, there is clear evidence, in schizophrenia and in CHR samples, that deficits in cognition are related to poor functional outcome. Thus, treatments targeting cognition may consequently improve functional outcome. The primary aim of the project is to reduce cognitive deterioration and improve cognition among youths at CHR using cognitive remediation and to test the effectiveness of a new cognitive remediation program, the Brain Fitness program, in improving cognition of CHR individuals. A control treatment consisting of video games (VG) will be used. The primary hypothesis is that the BF group will have improved cognition at the end of treatment and 12 months post baseline compared to the VG group. A secondary hypothesis is that improved cognition will be associated with improved functioning. This is a longitudinal, single blind, placebo controlled pilot trial of cognitive remediation in 36 CHR persons. Participants will be randomised to either the BF or VG program, which will be administered over a period of 3 months. Assessments will occur at baseline, post treatment (3 months) and at 12 months after baseline. All subjects will be recruited in year 1 of the project and treatment will be completed by 15 months. The 40 hours of training will occur 4 days a week, for an hour each day, over a period of 10 -12 weeks.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Prodromal Schizophrenia Other: Cognitive Remediation Therapy Other: computer games Not Applicable

Detailed Description:
Participants were randomised to either the BFP or a control treatment consisting of commercial computer games (CG). Participants were not blind to group allocation but all cognitive and symptom raters were. The 40 hours of BFP or computer game activity was expected to occur 4 days a week, for an hour each day, over a period of 10-12 weeks. The primary outcome was cognitive function assessed using the MATRICS consensus cognitive battery MCCB) (Nuechterlein and others 2008). The secondary outcome was social and role functioning assessed with Global Functioning: Social and Role scales. All clinical and cognitive assessments using symptom, functioning and cognitive measures were performed at baseline, post-treatment (at 3 months) and at 9-month follow-up (i.e. 9 months post baseline or 6 months after post-treatment assessment).

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 32 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Effects of Cognitive Remediation on Cognition in Young People at Clinical High Risk of Psychosis
Study Start Date : July 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Cognitive Remediation Therapy
A computerised cognitive remediation intervention called the Brain Fitness program is compared against a placebo intervention consisting of computer games
Other: Cognitive Remediation Therapy
auditory computer games designed to improve the speed at which people react when they hear something and at which they process that information.
Other Name: Brain Fitness Program

Active Comparator: computer games
computer games
Other: computer games
computer games that that consist of word puzzles
Other Name: Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    MATRICS will be used to assess changes in cognition at the end of treatment and 12 months post baseline.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. GFS= Global Functioning Scale (GFS): Social and Role [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Functioning scales will be used to asses if changes in cognitive function are associated with changes in social and role functioning.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   12 Years to 35 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:1.

  1. Male or female between 12 and 35 years old.
  2. Understand and sign an informed consent (or assent for minors) document in English.
  3. Must meet the NAPLS substance use criteria (see guidelines).
  4. Meet diagnostic criteria for prodromal syndrome as per COPS Criteria (see below) or if under 19 meet criteria for schizotypal personality disorder.


Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Meet criteria for current or lifetime Axis I psychotic disorder, including affective psychoses and psychosis NOS.
  2. No current treatment with antipsychotic medication unless it can be clearly demonstrated that the diagnostic prodromal criteria were present prior to the antipsychotic.
  3. Impaired intellectual functioning (i.e IQ<70); however those with an IQ in the 65-69 range will be included if the WRAT reading >75.
  4. Past or current history of a clinically significant central nervous system disorder that may contribute to prodromal symptoms or confound their assessment.
  5. Traumatic Brain Injury that is rated as 7 or above on the Traumatic Brain Injury screening instrument.
  6. The diagnostic prodromal symptoms are clearly caused by an Axis 1 disorder, including substance use disorders, in the judgment of the evaluating clinician. Other non-psychotic DSM-IV disorders will not be exclusionary (e.g. substance abuse disorder, major depression, anxiety disorders, Axis II Disorders), as long as the disorder does not account for the diagnosis of prodromal symptoms.


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01619319

Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Calgary
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
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Principal Investigator: Jean Addington, PhD University of Calgary

Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Jean Addington, M.D., Principal Investigator, University of Calgary Identifier: NCT01619319     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Cognitive Remediation in CHR
First Posted: June 14, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 5, 2014
Last Verified: September 2014

Keywords provided by Jean Addington, M.D., University of Calgary:
schizophrenia prodrome
clinical high risk of psychosis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
Personality Disorders