Authors:
Mehmet Topyurek & Dr. Kimberley Good

Presenter: 
Mehmet Topyurek

Title of Presentation:
The Effects of Caffeine on Schizophrenia: Countering Sedation, Cognitive & Negative Symptoms

Name of Institution:
Dalhousie University


Oral Presentation

Abstract:

Previous research investigating the effects of caffeine on schizophrenia devoted primary attention to its association with the onset of psychotic symptoms.  This line of research has garnered disdain for caffeine use in schizophrenia.  However, recent literature suggests there is a potential application for caffeine to treat symptoms associated with schizophrenia.  Four years ago a study sought to qualitatively assess the role of caffeine for schizophrenia patients. That study found that patients were using caffeine to counter sedation induced by antipsychotics.  The notion that caffeine can be used to reduce sedation in psychosis patients is supported by some physicians.  Approximately one year later, in 2015, the effects of caffeine on cognition in schizophrenia was assessed.  That study concluded that caffeine use was associated with better cognitive performance in schizophrenia patients. 

But why, then, is this missing from the literature?  Caffeine may have been overlooked due to the zealous efforts to associate it with the onset of psychotic symptoms.  More research assessing the effects of caffeine on cognition and symptomatology within schizophrenia is warranted.  There are currently no approved medications for cognitive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.  Assessing the effects of caffeine on cognition in schizophrenia can lead to a novel line of research and may prove to effectively address cognitive and negative symptoms. 

The purpose of this presentation is to disseminate recent information regarding caffeine use in schizophrenia and to discuss its potential application as an adjunct treatment addressing sedative side-effects as well as cognitive and negative symptoms.  The author will also briefly discuss his current project investigating caffeine and schizophrenia.