Narrator: This is Science Today. Schizophrenia, occurs in about one percent of the general population. Neuropsychologist Michael Green of UCLA says a fairly new anti-psychotic drug called risperidone is being used to treat the symptoms of this severe psychiatric disorder.
Green: The symptoms of schizophrenia would include hearing voices that aren't there. Strange beliefs or delusions, as well as helping patients with what are called negative symptoms which would be withdrawal or reduced emotional expression and not participating in daily activities. This is what the drug was developed for.
Narrator: Risperidone has been found to also improve cognitive function.
Green: The drugs that have been used previously have worked in the symptoms, but haven't done very much for the cognitive. Now with risperidone, which is currently the most commonly prescribed anti-psychotic medication, we have the possibility that the newer drugs might act on both aspects of the illness, the symptoms as well as the cognitive problems.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.