for people ages 18-55 (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
Neal R. Swerdlow, M.D., Ph.D.
Photo of Neal R. Swerdlow
Neal R. Swerdlow



These studies look to conduct efficient pilot testing of a novel intervention strategy for chronic psychotic disorders - Pharmacologic Augmentation of Cognitive Therapy (PACT) - via an experimental medicine approach. Antipsychotics are the major therapeutic tool for chronic psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, but do not significantly alter their course or real-life impact. Specific cognitive therapies achieve modest symptom reduction and improved function and cognition in psychosis patients, including "bottom-up" sensory-based targeted cognitive training (TCT). While benefits of TCT are evident at the group level, almost half of all patients demonstrate little or no cognitive gains after 30-40 hours (h) of TCT. For patients and clinicians, the costs and logistical complexities associated with these time- and resource-intensive interventions can be prohibitive. We propose and will test a novel "augmentation strategy" for using medications to specifically enhance the benefits of TCT in schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia Schizoaffective Disorder Psychotic Disorders AMPH TCT + PBO TCT + AMPH


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-55


  • DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, depressed type
  • Written informed consent to participate in the study
  • Age 18 - 55
  • Absence of dementia or mental retardation
  • Urine toxicology negative for recreational drugs
  • Fluent and literate in English (needed for completion of WIN and QuickSIN)

You CAN'T join if...


  • Meets DSM-IV criteria for current substance abuse or dependence and has been substance abstinent for less than 30 days
  • A history of traumatic brain injury
  • Auditory or visual impairments severe enough to prevent study participation
  • Under conservatorship (determined by Anasazi)
  • Pregnancy

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Neal R. Swerdlow, M.D., Ph.D.
    Biography Neal Swerdlow, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Research Residency Track and Vice Chair of Education and Training in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine. Dr. Swerdlow graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Amherst College (Neuroscience) in 1981, received his M.D. and Ph.D.


not yet accepting patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Phase 2
Study Type
Last Updated