Factors affecting cognitive remediation response in schizophrenia: The role of COMT gene and antipsychotic treatment

Marta Bosia, Andrea Zanoletti, Marco Spangaro, Mariachiara Buonocore, Margherita Bechi, Federica Cocchi, Adele Pirovano, Cristina Lorenzi, Placido Bramanti, Enrico Smeraldi, Roberto Cavallaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cognitive remediation is the best available tool to treat cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and has evidence of biological validity; however results are still heterogeneous and significant predictors are lacking. Previous studies showed that cognitive remediation is able to induce changes in PFC function and dopaminergic transmission and thus the study of possible sources of variability at these levels (i.e. antipsychotic treatments and genetic variability) might help to gain a deeper understanding of neurobiological correlates and translate into optimization and personalization of interventions. In the present study, we analyzed the interaction between pharmacological treatment (clozapine vs typical/atypical D2 blockers) and COMT rs4680 polymorphism on cognitive changes after cognitive remediation therapy, in a sample of 98 clinically stabilized patients with schizophrenia. The General Linear Model showed a significant interaction of pharmacological treatment and COMT polymorphism on the improvement in "Symbol Coding" subtest, a global measure of speed of processing. Post-hoc analysis revealed a significant difference between COMT genotypes, when treated with D2 blockers, with worse results among Val/Val patients.These preliminary results suggest that genetic variability, influencing prefrontal dopamine, might affect individual capacity to improve with different patterns, depending on antipsychotic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2014


  • Catechol-O-methyltransferase
  • Clozapine
  • Cognitive remediation
  • Genetics
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Medicine(all)

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