The FDA-NIMH-MATRICS guidelines for clinical trial design of cognitive-enhancing drugs: what do we know 5 years later?
ABSTRACT: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) clinical trial guidelines for cognitive-enhancing drugs in schizophrenia and the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) were designed to facilitate novel compound development in the treatment of cognitive impairments. Several studies have recently utilized the FDA-NIMH-MATRICS guidelines and MCCB and allow an evaluation of the feasibility of guideline implementation and MCCB performance. In light of the study results, we would recommend the following inclusion criteria revisions-(1) clinical status and symptom inclusion criteria: maximum allowed score for hallucinations and delusions should be increased from moderate to moderately severe and the negative symptom criterion should be dropped in phase 2 studies; (2) antipsychotic medication inclusion criteria: first-generation antipsychotics should be allowed, but only in the context of no concomitant anticholinergic agents and minimal extrapyramidal symptoms, and antipsychotic polypharmacy should be allowed in the absence of pertinent pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic considerations; and (3) people who use illicit substances should not be allowed in phase 1B or 2A proof-of-concept studies but may be included in phase 2B and 3 studies in which proof of effectiveness and generalizability of results become more important goals. These revisions are recommended to enhance recruitment while maintaining sufficient methodological rigor to ensure the validity of study results. The MCCB has been shown to have excellent psychometric characteristics, including reliability for multisite clinical trials, clinical relevance for real-world functioning, and possible sensitivity to behavioral treatment, and should continue to serve as the standard outcome measure for cognitive enhancement studies in schizophrenia.
Project description:The number of separable cognitive dimensions in schizophrenia has been debated. Guided by the extant factor analytic literature, the NIMH Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative selected seven cognitive domains relevant to treatment studies in schizophrenia: speed of processing, attention/vigilance, working memory, verbal learning, visual learning, reasoning and problem solving, and social cognition. These domains are assessed in the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). The aim of this study was to conduct a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the beta battery of the MCCB to compare the fit of the MATRICS consensus seven-domain model to other models in the current literature on cognition in schizophrenia.Using data from 281 schizophrenia outpatients, we compared the seven correlated factors model with alternative models. Specifically, we compared the 7-factor model to (a) a single-factor model, (b) a three correlated factors model including speed of processing, working memory, and general cognition, and (c) a hierarchical model in which seven first-order factors loaded onto a second-order general cognitive factor.Multiple fit indices indicated the seven correlated factors model was the best fit for the data and provided significant improvement in model fit beyond the comparison models.These results support the assessment of these seven cognitive dimensions in clinical trials of interventions to improve cognition in schizophrenia. Because these cognitive factors are separable to some degree, it is plausible that specific interventions may have differential effects on the domains.
Project description:The MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) fills a significant need for a standardized battery of cognitive tests to use in clinical trials for schizophrenia in adults aged 20-59. A need remains, however, to develop norms for younger individuals, who also show elevated risks for schizophrenia. Toward this end, we assessed performance in healthy adolescents. Baseline MCCB, reading and IQ data were obtained from healthy controls (ages 12-19) participating in two concurrent NIMH-funded studies: North American Prodromal Longitudinal Study phase 2 (NAPLS-2; n=126) and Boston Center for Intervention Development and Applied Research (CIDAR; n=13). All MCCB tests were administered except the Managing Emotions subtest from the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. Data were collected from 8 sites across North America. MCCB scores were presented in four 2-year age cohorts as T-scores for each test and cognitive domain, and analyzed for effects of age and sex. Due to IQ differences between age-grouped subsamples, IQ served as a covariate in analyses. Overall and sex-based raw scores for individual MCCB tests are presented for each age-based cohort. Adolescents generally showed improvement with age in most MCCB cognitive domains, with the clearest linear trends in Attention/Vigilance and Working Memory. These control data show that healthy adolescence is a dynamic period for cognitive development that is marked by substantial improvement in MCCB performance through the 12-19 age range. They also provide healthy comparison raw scores to facilitate clinical evaluations of adolescents, including those at risk for developing psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia-related conditions.
Project description:Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle is being explored both as an indicator of target engagement for, and a biomarker predicting the sensitivity to, procognitive effects of drugs. We now report the effects of the pro-attentional drug, d-amphetamine, on PPI and neurocognition in antipsychotic-medicated schizophrenia patients and healthy subjects (HS) who were also tested in a targeted cognitive training (TCT) module. 44 HS and 38 schizophrenia patients completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of the effects of a single dose of amphetamine (10?mg po) on PPI and MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) performance; TCT results were previously reported from 60 of these subjects. Moderators predicting AMPH sensitivity were assessed, including the rs4680 single-nucleotide polymorphism for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). After placebo, patients exhibited PPI deficits with 60?ms prepulse intervals; these deficits were 'rescued' by amphetamine. The magnitude of amphetamine-enhanced PPI was greater in patients than in HS (p<0.032), and was associated with positive symptoms (p<0.007), antipsychotic load (p<0.015), hedonic effects of AMPH (p<0.003), and with the presence of at least one methionine allele in rs4680 (p<0.008). No significant effects of amphetamine on MCCB performance were detected in either group, though pro-attentional effects of amphetamine in patients were associated with greater amphetamine-enhanced TCT learning. Amphetamine acutely 'normalized' PPI in antipsychotic-medicated schizophrenia patients; no concurrent acute neurocognitive changes were detected by the MCCB. Findings suggest that in the context of appropriate antipsychotic medication, a low dose of amphetamine enhances brain processes associated with higher function in schizophrenia patients, without accompanying changes in MCCB performance.
Project description:The cognitive deficits of schizophrenia are largely resistant to current treatments and thus are a lifelong illness burden. The Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) provides a reliable and valid assessment of cognition across major cognitive domains; however, the multimodal brain alterations specifically associated with MCCB in schizophrenia have not been examined.The interrelationships between MCCB and the abnormalities seen in three types of neuroimaging-derived maps-fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), gray matter (GM) density from structural MRI, and fractional anisotropy from diffusion MRI-were investigated by using multiset canonical correlation analysis in data from 47 schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotic medications and 50 age-matched healthy control subjects.One multimodal component (canonical variant 8) was identified as both group differentiating and significantly correlated with the MCCB composite. It demonstrated 1) increased cognitive performance associated with higher fALFF (intensity of regional spontaneous brain activity) and higher GM volumes in thalamus, striatum, hippocampus, and the mid-occipital region, with co-occurring fractional anisotropy changes in superior longitudinal fascicules, anterior thalamic radiation, and forceps major; 2) higher fALFF but lower GM volume in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex related to worse cognition in schizophrenia; and 3) distinct domains of MCCB might exhibit dissociable multimodal signatures, e.g., increased fALFF in inferior parietal lobule particularly correlated with decreased social cognition. Medication dose did not relate to these findings in schizophrenia.Our results suggest linked functional and structural deficits in distributed cortico-striato-thalamic circuits may be closely related to MCCB-measured cognitive impairments in schizophrenia.
Project description:Cognitive deficits in schizophrenia are among the core symptoms of the disease, correlate with functional outcome, and are not well treated with current antipsychotic therapies. In order to bring together academic, industrial, and governmental bodies to address this great 'unmet therapeutic need', the NIMH sponsored the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) initiative. Through careful factor analysis and consensus of expert opinion, MATRICS identified seven domains of cognition that are deficient in schizophrenia (attention/vigilance, working memory, reasoning and problem solving, processing speed, visual learning and memory, verbal learning and memory, and social cognition) and recommended a specific neuropsychological test battery to probe these domains. In order to move the field forward and outline an approach for translational research, there is a need for a "preclinical MATRICS" to develop a rodent test battery that is appropriate for drug development. In this review, we outline such an approach and review current rodent tasks that target these seven domains of cognition. The rodent tasks are discussed in terms of their validity for probing each cognitive domain as well as a brief overview of the pharmacology and manipulations relevant to schizophrenia for each task.
Project description:Studies evaluating the cognitive impairment in schizophrenic adolescents reported a variable course following antipsychotic treatment, with improvement being associated to patients' demographic or clinical characteristics.<h4>Objectives</h4>To examine the cognitive impairments of a Mexican sample of adolescents with schizophrenia using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) before and after six months of antipsychotic treatment and to determine which demographic or clinical characteristics could be associated to cognitive improvement.<h4>Methods</h4>A sample of 87 Mexican patients was evaluated with the MCCB. Domain scores for three age groups (12-13, 14-15 and 16-17?y.o.) were obtained at baseline, and after 3 and 6?months of treatment. The groups were compared for demographic and clinical variables (sex, school attendance, years of education, being on their first psychotic episode, duration of illness and mean dose of antipsychotic), and a logistic regression analysis was performed to determine which variables predicted larger improvement.<h4>Results</h4>The baseline performance showed scores below the standardized mean, with improvement in all domains except for social cognition; female adolescents showed a larger improvement in attention/vigilance and visual learning domains.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We observed cognitive impairments on schizophrenic adolescents, which improved after six months of treatment in almost all domains.
Project description:Effective treatments for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS) remain an unmet need. Nicotinic ?7 receptor agonists may be effective in CIAS. This 8-week (week 1, inpatient; weeks 2-8, outpatient), double-blind, randomized study used Measurement And Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) guidelines to investigate the nicotinic ?7 partial agonist RG3487 (formerly MEM3454) in CIAS; 215 patients with chronic stable schizophrenia received placebo or RG3487 (5, 15, or 50 mg) added to ongoing treatment with risperidone, paliperidone, or aripiprazole. Primary end point was baseline to week 8 change in MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) composite t-score. Secondary outcomes were change in MCCB domain and negative symptom assessment (NSA) scores. The study did not allow for evaluation of nonsmokers. Each RG3487 dose was evaluated using a mixed-effects model repeated measures approach. Mean (SD) baseline MCCB composite t-score was 28.3 (12.0). No significant effect on MCCB composite t-scores was observed with RG3487 (adjusted mean difference (SE) vs placebo: 5 mg: 0.11 (1.39); 15 mg: -1.95 (1.39); 50 mg: -1.13 (1.37); p = 0.2-0.9). RG3487 did not improve MCCB domain scores. In a post hoc analysis of patients with moderate negative symptoms, 5 and 50 mg RG3487 vs placebo significantly improved NSA total (-4.45 (p = 0.04) and -4.75 (p = 0.02), respectively) and global (-0.39 (p = 0.04) and -0.55 (p = 0.003), respectively) scores. The MCCB did not lead to higher than expected patient withdrawal. RG3487 was generally well tolerated. In patients with stable schizophrenia, RG3487 did not improve cognitive deficits, as assessed by the MCCB; however, in patients with moderate negative symptoms, a post hoc analysis revealed significant improvement of negative symptoms.
Project description:Cognitive deficits contribute strongly to functional disability in schizophrenia. The cost of identifying and testing candidate procognitive agents is substantial. Conceivably, candidate drugs might be first identified by positive effects on cognitive domains in sensitive subgroups of healthy subjects. Here, we examined whether the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) detected procognitive drug effects in subgroups of healthy individuals.The effects of 20 mg amphetamine (AMPH) on MCCB performance were tested in a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of 60 healthy adults. AMPH effects were compared in subgroups of subjects characterized by low vs. high placebo MCCB scores, and by extreme values on personality subscales associated with schizophrenia-relevant biomarkers.AMPH produced autonomic and subjective effects, but did not significantly change MCCB composite scores or individual domain scores across the inclusive sample of 60 subjects. AMPH-induced MCCB changes were significantly (inversely) related to placebo MCCB performance: among individuals with lower placebo scores, AMPH enhanced performance; while among individuals with higher placebo scores, it impaired performance. A potential impact of regression to the mean was assessed and could not be ruled out. Both placebo MCCB performance and AMPH effects on MCCB scores were significantly related to personality domains associated with schizophrenia-linked genetic- and/or neurophysiological substrates.Among healthy adults, AMPH effects on MCCB performance were detected only among specific subgroups, and in specific cognitive domains. Strategies that utilize drug-induced changes in MCCB performance in healthy subjects to screen for candidate procognitive drugs should consider the use of "enriched" subgroups with specific neurocognitive or personality characteristics.
Project description:Identification of biomarkers for cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia is a priority for psychiatry research. Functional imaging studies suggest that intrinsic "resting state" hippocampal hyperactivity is a characteristic feature of schizophrenia. The relationships between this phenotype and symptoms of the illness, however, are largely unexplored. The authors examined resting hippocampal activity in schizophrenia patients and healthy comparison subjects and analyzed the relationship between intrinsic hippocampal activity and cognitive function in patients as measured by the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB).Twenty-eight schizophrenia patients and 28 age-matched healthy comparison subjects underwent functional "resting state" 3-T MR scanning. Hippocampal activity was extracted by group independent component analysis. Correlation analyses were used to examine the relationship between hippocampal activity and MCCB composite and domain scores in patients, as well as between hippocampal activity and positive and negative symptoms.Greater activity of the right hippocampus at rest was observed in patients relative to comparison subjects. In patients, a significant negative correlation was observed between right hippocampal activity and composite MCCB T-score. The correlation was driven by the MCCB domains of attention/vigilance, working memory, and visual learning. Hippocampal activity was positively correlated with negative symptoms. MCCB scores were inversely correlated with negative symptoms.These findings suggest that greater intrinsic hippocampal activity is a characteristic feature of schizophrenia that is broadly associated with cognitive dysfunction, and they support hippocampal activity as a candidate biomarker for therapeutic development.
Project description:Cognitive deficits are a central feature of schizophrenia whose etiology is not fully understood. Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is a potentially neurotropic infectious agent that can generate persistent infections with immunomodulatory effects. Previous studies have found an association between EBV antibodies and cognitive functioning in different populations, but there has been limited investigation in schizophrenia. In this study, 84 individuals with schizophrenia were administered a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Participants also provided a blood sample, from which antibodies to the EBV whole virion and specific proteins were measured. Multivariate models were constructed to determine the association between these antibodies and cognitive performance on the MCCB overall and domain scores. Using these models, we found a significant association between the MCCB overall percent composite score and level of antibodies to the EBV Nuclear Antigen-1 (EBNA-1) protein, the Viral Capsid Antigen (VCA) protein, and the EBV whole virion. A significant association was also found for the MCCB social cognition domain with the level of antibodies to the EBV Nuclear Antigen-1 (EBNA-1) protein, the Viral Capsid Antigen (VCA) protein, and the EBV whole virion. In all cases, a higher level of antibodies was associated with a lower level cognitive performance. These findings suggest that exposure to EBV may contribute to cognitive deficits in schizophrenia, a finding which may have implications for new methods of prevention and treatment.