Nicotine enhances antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients and healthy controls

  • Petrovsky N
  • Ettinger U
  • Quednow B
 et al. 
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Nicotine has been proposed to be a cognitive enhancer, particularly in schizophrenia patients. So far, the published studies of nicotine effects on antisaccade performance in schizophrenia patients only tested participants who were deprived smokers. Thus, we aimed to test both smoking and non-smoking patients as well as healthy controls in order to extend previous findings. Moreover, we employed a paradigm using standard and delayed trials. We hypothesized that, if nicotine is a genuine cognitive enhancer, its administration would improve antisaccade performance both in smoking and non-smoking participants. A total of 22 patients with schizophrenia (12 smokers and 10 non-smokers) and 26 controls (14 smokers and 12 non-smokers) completed the study. The effects of a nicotine patch (14 mg for smokers, 7 mg for non-smokers) on antisaccade performance were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial. Schizophrenia patients made significantly more antisaccade errors than controls (p = 0.03). Both patients and controls made fewer antisaccade errors in the delayed trials than in the standard trials (pÂ

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  • N Petrovsky

  • U Ettinger

  • B B Quednow

  • M W Landsberg

  • J Drees

  • L Lennertz

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