A double-blind, cross-over comparison of the effects of amantadine or placebo on visuomotor and cognitive function in medicated schizophrenia patients

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2005 Nov;20(6):319-26. doi: 10.1097/00004850-200511000-00007.


The present study aimed to test the hypothesis that dopamine agonists may enhance cognitive function. The effect of amantadine on neuropsychological function in medicated schizophrenia patients was investigated. The study comprised an add-on, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over 6-week trial. Participants comprised 29 inpatients at Sha'ar Menashe Mental Health Center who were diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Amantadine 200 mg/day or identical placebo was added to ongoing antipsychotic treatment for 3 weeks. Study medications were then switched for an additional 3 weeks. Assessments were performed at baseline, and weeks 3 and 6, including cognitive and visuomotor assessments. Clinical ratings included positive, negative and depressive symptoms and extrapyramidal side-effects. Blood prolactin levels were assayed. A mixed model was used to examine differences in the data at the three assessment points. Amantadine was associated with improved visuomotor coordination compared to placebo. No significant changes in cognitive functions were noted. Clinical symptoms, extrapyramidal side-effects and blood prolactin levels were not altered. Amantadine improved visuomotor coordination independently of extrapyramidal side-effects but not cognitive function. Because prolactin concentrations were unchanged, the mechanism is more likely to involve glutaminergic NMDA than dopaminergic mechanisms. Further studies of amantadine with different doses and treatment duration, as well as more glutamate selective agents such as memantine, are indicated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amantadine / pharmacology
  • Amantadine / therapeutic use*
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology
  • Dopamine Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebos
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Placebos
  • Amantadine