Biological Therapy for phobias

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  • Biological therapies for phobias
    • Drug therapy
      • Benzodiazepines (BZs), are used to reduce anixtey. They slow down the activity of the central nervous system by enhancing the neurotransmitter GABA, which has a calming effect on the brain. It reacts with GABA receptors which opens a channel which increase the flow of chloride ions and this makes it harder fpr thr nueron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters.
      • Beta blockers - these reduce the activity of adrenaline and noradrenaline which are part of the response to stress. They bind to receptors on the cells of the heart and other parts of body stimulated by stress. By Blocking these receptors, it is harder to stimulate cells in these parts of the body. so they hard will not beat as fast and have a calm effect on the person.
      • Anti-depressants - SRRI are the most common type of anti depressant for treating anxiety disorders. Drugs like Prozac increase the activity of the neurotransmitter serotonin which regulates mood and anxiety.
        • Another type of anti depressant drug can also be used but is considered outdated and rarely used, however some people react better to them then SSRI. It works by inhibiting monoamine oxidase which is an enzyme that breaks neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Inhibiting this will lead to higher levels of these calming chemicals.
    • Psychosurgery - a surgical intervention that aims to treat a behavior, which has no pathological cause. it  is believed an area of the brain is malfunctioning and if the connections to this part of the brain are severed, the pathological symptoms are relieved
      • Capsulotomy and cingultomy- The capsule and the cingulum are both parts of the brain which are associated with emotion. The connections to these parts are severed and thus removes all of its functionality, the effect is the same as if it were to be physically removed
      • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) - involves placing wires in target areas of the brain. The wires are are connected to a battery. When this is turned on it interrupts the target areas in the brain.
      • Transcranial magnetic stimulation - a large electromagnetic coil is place above the scalp near the forehead. This creates painless electric currents that stimulate the frontal cortex, a region of the brain associated with mood regulation.

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