Schizophrenia Research Roundup: February 16, 2024


What is new in research on schizophrenia?

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In this Research Roundup, we explore new studies on schizophrenia, connections between schizophrenia symptom severity and social support and cognition and more.

The Role of Negative Symptoms and Social Cognition in Schizophrenia Outcomes
This study investigated the factors contributing to poor functional outcomes in schizophrenia, focusing on psychopathology, processing speed (a measure of neurocognition), and emotion recognition (a measure of social cognition). The findings revealed that expressive deficit and motivational deficit (both negative symptom domains) predicted global functioning, with motivational deficit also impacting personal and social functioning. Social cognition also partially mediated the influence of neurocognitive deficits on socially useful activities.

“Our results indicate that pathways to functional outcomes are specific for different domains of real-life functioning and that negative symptoms and social cognition mediate the impact of neurocognitive deficits on different domains of functioning,” the investigators concluded. “Our results suggest that both negative symptoms and social cognition should be targeted by psychosocial interventions to enhance the functional impact of neurocognitive remediation.”


Giordano GM, Pezzella P, Mucci A, et al. Negative symptoms and social cognition as mediators of the relationship between neurocognition and functional outcome in schizophreniaFront Psychiatry. 2024;15:1333711.

Evaluating 45 Augmentation Drugs for Schizophrenia
This network meta-analysis assessed augmentation drugs for treating schizophrenia in patients with persistent symptoms despite antipsychotic treatment. Among the 44 trials analyzed, several drugs showed significant efficacy compared to placebo, with tropisetron, memantine, and minocycline demonstrating notable effects on negative symptoms in patients treated with risperidone. Sodium benzoate and memantine showed efficacy for positive symptoms, while duloxetine stood out for negative symptoms in patients treated with clozapine.

The investigators concluded that, “These results highlight new pathways for treating schizophrenia that should be incorporated into future guidelines after further validation.”


Etchecopar-Etchart D, Yon DK, Wojciechowski P, et al. Comprehensive evaluation of 45 augmentation drugs for schizophrenia: a network meta-analysisEClinicalMedicine. 2024;69:102473.

Social Support and Severity of Symptoms in Patients With Schizophrenia in Rural Communities
This cross-sectional study investigated the relationship between social support and the severity of positive symptoms in rural community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results showed that total social support and subjective social support were significantly and negatively associated with the severity of positive symptoms.

“The study confirmed the importance of social support, especially subjective support, provided to rural community-dwelling schizophrenia patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the investigators concluded. “This support should be addressed and strengthened for such patients in emergent events.”


Liu Y, Liu H, Chen S, Ren J, Tian X. Association between social support and the severity of positive symptoms in rural community-dwelling patients with schizophrenia during the COVID-19 pandemicBMC Psychiatry. 2024;24(1):124.

Note: This Research Roundup was prepared with the assistance of ChatGPT.

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