Cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is associated with functional disease symptoms. The beneficial effects of second generation antipsychotic drugs on cognitive function in schizophrenic patients are controversial. In this study, we investigated the effects of the second generation antipsychotics olanzapine, sertindole and clozapine on cognitive function in the Morris water maze task in naive or MK-801-treated animals. Male balb-c mice were treated subchronically with olanzapine (1.25, 2.5 and 5mg/kg, i.p.), sertindole (0.63, 1.3, 2.5mg/kg, s.c.) or clozapine (0.5 and 1mg/kg, i.p.), and cognitive deficits were induced by MK-801 (0.2mg/kg, i.p.) administration. Water maze performance was expressed as escape latency to find the hidden platform, the time spent in target quadrant, the mean distance to platform and the swim speed. In naive mice olanzapine impaired water maze performance, whereas sertindole and clozapine had no effect while the MK-801-induced cognitive impairment was reversed by the second generation antipsychotics - olanzapine, sertindole and clozapine at the doses used. These results revealed that while olanzapine had some disturbing effects on cognitive functions in naive animals; olanzapine, sertindole and clozapine might improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenic patients.
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