AQA AS PSYA2 Psychology- Biological therapies: Drug therapy

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  • Created by: Ruth ****
  • Created on: 25-05-13 13:26
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  • Biological Therapies- Drug Treatment
    • Based on the assumption that a chemical imbalance is the root of the problem.
    • Anti-anxiety drugs
      • Benzodiazepines: Slow down the CNS and function of the GABA (calming neurotransmitter) enhanced. They open chloride ion channels, making it harder for neurons to be stimulated.
      • Beta Blockers: Reduce adrenaline and nor-adrenaline which initiates FOFR. They will lock onto cells associated with it, e.g. the heart.
    • Anti-depressant drugs
      • Depression is associated with a lack of serotonin. They therefore work by reducing the rate of reabsorption of neurotransmitters, or block the enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter.
    • Anti-psychotic drugs
      • These block the action of the dopamine by binding to dopamine receptors. A typical anti-psychotic drug will temporarily occupy dopamine, they therefore have fairly low side effects.
    • Strengths of Drug Therapies
      • They do work, as the WHO showed relapse rates were highest with a placebo, then anti-psychotic drug, then drugs with family intervention.
    • Limitations of drug therapies
      • The placebo effect may be a significant factor in their successfulness. Kirsch et al found a placebo effect had similar effects to anti-depressant. However, they were 25% less successful.
      • Only temporarily stop the symptoms, once the drugs stop the mental disorder may return.
      • Side effects can also be a problem, e.g. sexual dysfunction, anxiety.


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