Biological therapies for schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Natalie
  • Created on: 17-10-13 13:13
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  • Biological Therapies
    • Anti-psychotic medication
      • Conventional anti-psychotics reduce effects of dopamine and so reduce symptoms of schizophrenia.
        • Bind to D2 dopamine receptors but do not stimulate them.
        • 30% develop tardive dyskinesia.
      • Atypical anti-psychotics only temporarily occupy D2 receptors then dissociate to allow normal dopamine transmission
        • leads to lower levels of side effects such as tardive dyskinesia.
          • lower rates of tardive dyskinesia supported by Jeste et al. (1999).
          • Patients more likely to continue with medication if fewer side effects.
        • Meta-analysis (leucht et al., 1999) - superiority of atypical over conventional anti-psychotics only moderate.
        • Only marginal support for effectiveness with negative symptoms.
      • Davis et al. (1980) - higher relapse rate in patients whose drug replaced with placebo than those who remained on drug.
      • Anti-psychotic medication more effective for those living with hostility and criticism.
      • Being prescribed medication creates motivational deficits which prevents positive action againt illness.
      • Ross and Read (2004) - placebo studies not a fair test because proportion of relapses explained by withdrawal effects.
    • ECT
      • First studies of ECT as treatment for schizophrenia were disappointing (Karagulla, 1950), with recovery lower than the control group.
      • Tharyan and Adams (2005) - review of 26 studies found 'real' ECT more effective than 'sham' ECT.
      • Combination of medication and ECT effective for rapid reduction of symptoms.
      • Effectiveness of ECT is inconsistent. APA study found no difference between effects of ECT and anti-psychotic medication.
      • Saita et al. (1998) - no difference in symptom reduction between ECT and stimulated ECT.
      • Because of risks of ECT (e.g. memory dysfunction, brain damage) use has declined


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