Cognitive deficits -- including impairments in areas such as memory, attention, and executive function -- are a major determinant and predictor of long-term disability in schizophrenia. Unfortunately, available antipsychotic medications are relatively ineffective in improving cognition. Scientific discoveries during the past decade suggest that there may be opportunities for developing medications that will be effective for improving cognition in schizophrenia.
The NIMH has identified obstacles that are likely to interfere with the development of pharmacological agents for treating cognition in schizophrenia. These include: (1) a lack of a consensus as to how cognition in schizophrenia should be measured; (2) differing opinions as to the pharmacological approaches that are most promising; (3) challenges in clinical trial design; (4) concerns in the pharmaceutical industry regarding the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approaches to drug approval for this indication; and (5) issues in developing a research infrastructure that can carry out clinical trials of promising drugs.
The MATRICS program will bring together representatives of academia, industry, and government in a consensus process for addressing all of these obstacles.
Funding for MATRICS is provided by the NIMH Division of Mental Disorders, Behavioral Research, and AIDS (Ellen Stover, Division Director; Wayne Fenton, NIMH Deputy Director for Clinical Affairs). The Contract was awarded to UCLA in September, 2002 with Stephen R. Marder, M.D. as P.I. and Michael F. Green, Ph.D. as Co-P.I.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments about the MATRICS program and see our website - www.matricsinc.org - for details regarding the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB).
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