The effect of melperone, an atypical antipsychotic drug, on cognitive function in schizophrenia

Tomiki Sumiyoshi, Karu Jayathilake, Herbert Y. Meltzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Melperone, a butyrophenone, has been shown to possess atypical antipsychotic properties, i.e. ability to produce an antipsychotic effect in man at doses that cause minimal extrapyramidal side effects. In addition, melperone shares the following with other atypical antipsychotic drugs: (1) effectiveness for ameliorating negative symptoms; (2) no prolactin elevation; and (3) effectiveness in the treatment of some patients with neuroleptic-resistant schizophrenia. Other atypical antipsychotic drugs have been reported to improve cognitive function. This study was performed to investigate the effect of melperone on cognitive function. Nineteen patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, including 11 neuroleptic-resistant patients, were treated with melperone for 6 weeks. A comprehensive neurocognitive test battery and psychopathological ratings (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, BPRS) were administered at baseline and after 6 weeks of melperone treatment. Treatment with melperone was associated with improvement in executive function, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)-Categories and WCST-Percent Perseveration. On the other hand, visuospatial manipulation, as measured by the Wechsler Intelligent Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-R) Maze, worsened during melperone treatment. There were no significant changes in other domains of cognition, i.e. verbal learning and memory, verbal working memory, verbal fluency and sustained attention. Scores of WCST-Categories and Perseveration at 6 weeks were predicted from the relevant cognitive test scores at baseline and the change in BPRS Total and Positive scores. These results suggest the usefulness of melperone for facilitating work and social function in patients with schizophrenia. The differences in the cognition-enhancing abilities between melperone and clozapine are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Atypical antipsychotic drug
  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Melperone
  • Quality of life
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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