From the article:
After just two intravenous doses in eight weeks of tocilizumab, an immune-suppressing drug regularly prescribed for rheumatoid and juvenile arthritis, study participants had significantly improved cognitive ability, said Dr. Brian J. Miller, a psychiatrist at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Anywhere from 25 to 50 percent of patients may have inflammation in the brain contributing to that dysfunction. Problems range from having trouble remembering important numbers to impairment of executive function that enables them to analyze, organize, and generally manage their lives.
Tocilizumab targets the receptor for IL-6, a protein which helps regulate inflammation that is often elevated in patients with schizophrenia. Higher IL-6 levels also have been correlated with a smaller hippocampus, a center for learning and memory in the brain, as well as experiencing more psychiatric symptoms.
The five study patients did not experience improvement in overall levels of psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, more classic symptoms of schizophrenia, which were already well-controlled with antipsychotics, Miller said.