Cognitive Remediation for Schizophrenia
This study is designed to investigate the effects of two treatments designed to enhance vocational outcome for patients with schizophrenia. Participants in this study will be randomly assigned to either an extended program of cognitive remediation training (Track A) designed to improve cognitive function, or a computer skills vocational training program (Track B) designed to enhance computer skills for job placement. The proposed study will build on prior research by: (1) comparing the effects of cognitive remediation to an alternative, more vocationally-oriented treatment program; (2) utilizing a larger, more comprehensive assessment battery than previously reported in the literature and (3) long-term tracking of employment success of treated patients at a 12-month follow-up. This will be the first study, to our knowledge, to directly assess and compare the long-term effects of cognitive remediation and computer skills training on employment outcome as well as on standardized test performance.
Principle Investigator: Matthew M. Kurtz, Ph.D. Co-investigators: James C. Seltzer, Ph.D., Bruce E. Wexler, M.D.
Funded in part by the Hartford Hospital Small Grant Initiative Program

FMRI Assessment of Treatment Response at The Institute of Living
This study is designed to employ functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as a tool for investigating regionally-specific changes in neural activation associated with new types of behavioral treatment for deficits in attention, memory and problem-solving in patients with schizophrenia. As part of this study, patients will be administered cognitive tasks during fMRI before and after treatment in the Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Program at the Institute of Living. Participants will be scanned a third time several months after treatment to evaluate the stability over time of any observed changes in neural function.
Principle Investigator: Matthew M. Kurtz, Ph.D. Co-investigators: James C. Seltzer, Ph.D., Bruce E. Wexler, M.D.
Funded by the Hartford Hospital Open Competition Grants Program.

Predictors of Treatment Response to Rehabilitation in Schizophrenia
This is a prospective study designed to investigate the relationships between symptoms, neurocognitive impairment, and treatment response to a comprehensive rehabilitation program currently offered at The Institute of Living for patients with schizophrenia. Study 1 will investigate the relationship of symptoms and neurocognitive variables measured at program entry to psychosocial and vocational status measured one year later. Study 2 will investigate the relationship of symptoms and neurocognitive variables measured at program entry to treatment response for patients assigned to either a cognitive remediation track or a computer skills training track as part of approved IRC protocol #01-19 (approved 3/21/01). The study will provide new information regarding: (1) relationships between neurocognition and symptoms to outcome after treatment, thereby identifying patient features that need to be addressed to improve treatment response and (2) relationships of neurocognition and symptoms to outcome after therapeutic intervention with specific elements of an intensive rehabilitation treatment program.
Principle Investigator: Matthew M. Kurtz, Ph.D.; Consultants: James C. Seltzer, Ph.D., John Goethe, M.D., Morris Bell, Ph.D., Bruce E. Wexler, M.D.