New joint clinical trial may improve cognitive function in those with schizophrenia, diabetes

In a joint study between Australia's University of Wollongong and China's Beijing HuiLongGuan Hospital, researchers led by Dr Mei Han have found that the prevention and treatment of diabetes might prove beneficial for people with schizophrenia and may yield better cognitive functioning, especially in immediate memory and attention. This has the potential to improve daily life and restore skills that could allow return to the workforce.

Diabetes has been reported to occur about two to four times more frequently in patients with schizophrenia than in the general population. As schizophrenia and diabetes are both associated with cognitive impairment, it was thought that patients with both diseases may suffer an increased rate and magnitude of cognitive deficits.

The study, which was published in the scientific journal PLoS One, found this to be accurate with indications that people with both schizophrenia and diabetes were more cognitively impaired in the areas of immediate memory and attention than people with schizophrenia alone and people with diabetes alone.

These findings indicate that the memory deficits found in schizophrenia could, in part, reflect disturbed , and that improvement of could improve these deficits.

"A number of our previous studies have shown us that many atypical antipsychotics increase the likelihood of people with schizophrenia developing Type II diabetes," says Professor Xu-Feng Huang at the University of Wollongong. "What this study tells us is that treating diabetes in people with schizophrenia may improve their cognitive functioning, which could have a positive impact on everyday life."

Preclinical studies, led by Institute-supported Prof. Huang, have also indicated that the compound teasaponin, which is found in green tea, and DHA, which can be found in fish oil, could be useful as adjunct treatments in reducing chronic that is linked with the causes of obesity, type II diabetes and cognitive impairment.

Related Stories

Genetic risk for schizophrenia is connected to reduced IQ

date May 16, 2013

The relationship between the heritable risk for schizophrenia and low intelligence (IQ) has not been clear. Schizophrenia is commonly associated with cognitive impairments that may cause functional disability. There are clues ...

Recommended for you

What makes a good horror movie?

date Jul 03, 2015

Like them or hate them horror films are big business and a string of new horror films are hitting the big screen this year. But what creates the intensity of suspense? And was Alfred Hitchcock – the master ...

Decoding the statistical language of the brain

date Jul 02, 2015

Let's make a bet. You will throw a dart 10 feet and – if you hit a two-inch circular target on the wall across the room – I will give you a dollar. Otherwise, you pay me a dollar.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.