Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia

Mindmap for the Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia including procedures, how they work and their evaluations as to their effectiveness and appropriateness.

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  • Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia
    • ECT
      • Procedure
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness
          • Tang found that ECT works well for those who don't respond to drug therapy.
          • Tharyan & Adams conducted a review of 26 studies including 798 pps. They found that when compared to a placebo version of ECT more people improved in the real ECT condition. ECT was even more effective when combined with drug therapy.
          • Up to 50% of patients relapse within the first 6 months so ECT is not a long term cure
        • Appropriateness
          • seen as highly unethical as it can be seen as a barbaric method
          • ECT is no more dangerous than any other minor surgery performed under general anaesthetic
    • Drug Therapy
      • How They Work
        • Typical drugs bind to the dopamine receptors and so block them so dopamine itself cannot bind.
          • This helps to alleviate positive symptoms of schizophrenia
          • Based on the dopamine hypothesis
        • Atypical drugs work in a similar way to typical drugs but they also affect serotonin activity too in order to increase mood and help relieve other symptoms
      • Evaluation
        • Effectiveness
          • Davis et al found a significant difference in terms of relapse rates between treatment and placebo groups. Treatment groups performed much better.
          • Older atypical drugs are ineffective in treating negative symptoms of Sz. Clozapine however does help these symptoms.
          • Drugs are not a cure and so when treatment stops the symptoms reappear
          • Drugs do not work for 15% of patients
          • Relatively economical and easy to administer
        • Appropriateness
          • Drugs can cause a variety of bad side effects and are not appropriate for some patients because of this
            • Some people stop taking medication because of side effects, suggesting whether or not it is unethical to stop patients from having the right to refuse medication.
          • Newer drugs that have less side effects, such as Clozapine, have an adverse effect on the immune system, meaning a lot of money needs to be spent in order to ensure patients remain healthy
          • Adverse side effects sometimes lead to the revolving door effect. Patients stop taking medication and have to go back into hospital time and time again due to repeated relapse
            • Some people stop taking medication because of side effects, suggesting whether or not it is unethical to stop patients from having the right to refuse medication.

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