Original Article| Volume 62, ISSUE 3, P226-234, August 01, 2007

Risperidone and Cognitive Function in Children With Disruptive Behavior Disorders


      Effects of risperidone on cognitive function in children with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs) and subaverage intelligence quotient (IQ) were assessed.


      Data from two 6-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies (n = 228) were combined, as were three 1-year, open-label studies (n = 688). Patients with DBDs and subaverage IQ, 5 to14 years, received placebo or risperidone .02 to .06 mg/kg/day. Cognitive measures included the Continuous Performance Task (CPT) and Verbal Learning Test for Children (VLT-C). Efficacy was assessed using the Nisonger Child Behavior Rating Form (NCBRF). Adverse events were collected via spontaneous report; sedation was assessed using visual analog scale.


      Improvements on the NCBRF Conduct Problem subscale were significantly greater for risperidone- versus placebo-treated patients (−15.8 vs. −6.4, p < .0001) in short-term studies; significant reductions were observed in long-term studies (−16.3, p < .0001). No overall decline and some significant improvement in attention (CPT) and memory (VLT-C) were noted regardless of treatment in short-term studies. VLT-C improved significantly (p < .0001) for both groups, with no difference between treatment groups. Improvements in memory (VLT-C) and attention (CPT) were noted in long-term studies. Somnolence/sedation did not affect cognitive function.


      Cognitive function was not altered by risperidone in short-term studies and was maintained or improved with one year of treatment in children with DBDs and subaverage IQ, potentially representing age-appropriate gains.

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