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C. A Dual Purpose Drug For Schizophrenia

Narrator: This is Science Today. A drug widely used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, has also been found to improve a patient's short-term memory. UCLA neuropsychologist Michael Green says the drug is called risperidone.

Green: We can't say it works for everybody. We can say that when patients are treated with this drug, on average, they do better on working memory, than patients treated with a standard drug.

Narrator: And Green says such improvements in cognitive function can greatly help these patients get along in society.

Green: Let's say we didn't get much sleep for a couple nights. Let's say we're taking prescription medication that makes us groggy. Under those conditions, we don't function very well, We're not as sharp, we don't do well at work and we don't do as well in maintaining the social context in our life. So it's easy to imagine that if this was a stable and constant problem, that we wouldn't be as effective in our world.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.