Biological Therapies

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  • Created by: rachel
  • Created on: 27-02-13 13:53
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  • Biological Therapies
    • Drugs
      • Modify the working of the brain & affect mood & behaviour.
      • Antipsychotics
        • Conventional: combat + symptoms of schizophrenia.
        • Block actions of dopamine in brain by binding to, but not stimulating dopamine receptors.
        • Atypical: Temporarily occupy dopamine receptors & then rapidly dissociate to allow normal dopamine transmission.
          • Lower level of side effects - involuntary movements of mouth & tounge
      • Antidepressant Drugs
        • Reduce rate of re-absorbtion or block the enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitters.
          • Increases the amount of neurotransmitter available to excite neighbouring cells.
        • Most commonly prescribed = SSRI's. (Block transporter mechanism that re-absorbs seretonin into presynaptic cell after it has fired.
          • As a result, more serotonin is left in synapse, prolonging its activity & making transmission of the next impulse easier.
      • Anti-Anxiety
        • Slow down the activity of nervous system
          • BZ enhances action of GABA by binding to special sites on GABA receptor & boosting actions of GABA.
            • Allows more  chloride ions to enter neurone making it more resistant to excitation so the brains output of excitatory neurotransmitters is reduced.
              • making person feel calmer
    • ECT
      • What is it?
        • Treatment used for severely depressed patients where no other treatment has been effective.
        • Used when theres a risk of suicide - has quicker results than drugs
      • How does it work?
        • Electrode placed on temple. Patient made unconscious & given nerve blocking agent to paralyse muscles to prevent fractures. Oxygen is given. Electric current (0.6 amps) for half a second is given.
          • Produces seizure lasting one minute that effects whole brain.
          • Given 3x a week with patient requiring between 3-15 treatments
      • Why does it work?
        • Abrams (1997) After 50 years of studying found we were no closer to understanding why it works.
        • ECT alters the way the neurotransmitters are acting in the brain and so helps bring about recovery.
          • Disagrement about exact effects that lead to improvement
            • Servere types of depression - certain parts of brain may not work normally. For example - different parts of the brain may not be communicating properly with each other.


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