Reducing Hippocampal Hyperactivity and Improving Cognition in Schizophrenia

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    VA Office of Research and Development
Updated on 25 March 2022
schizoaffective disorder
Accepts healthy volunteers


This study plans to learn more about the effects of levetiracetam (LEV) on brain activity and cognition in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. Levetiracetam is an anti-seizure drug, also called an anticonvulsant.


Cognitive symptoms are not currently well-managed in Veterans with schizophrenia, leading to substantially diminished quality of life. Improved treatment strategies clearly are needed. Recent studies suggest taht an overactive hippocampus is associated with cognitive deficits in the illness. Based on findings that the anti-epileptic drug levetiracetam (LEV) reduces hippocampal activity and improves cognition in other clinical populations while being safe and well-tolerated, this study will examine the effects of the drug on hippocampal activity and cognition in Veterans with schizophrenia. In this crossover design, participants will take LEV for 4 weeks and placebo pills for 4 weeks, but will not know the order in which they are taking them.

Condition Schizophrenia
Treatment Placebo, Levetiracetam
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03034356
SponsorVA Office of Research and Development
Last Modified on25 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
Good general health
Normal vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, respiration)

Exclusion Criteria

Substance abuse
Significant neurological disorders
Significant head trauma/injury
MRI-specific exclusion criteria, e.g
weight>400 lbs
metal in the body
Clear my responses

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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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