Treatments of schizophrenia: Biological

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Treatments of schizophrenia: Biological

Advantages

  • Use of anti-psychotic drugs alleviate symptoms quickly, especially positive symptoms
  • Typical anti-psychotics allowed patients to be released who had been institutionalised for years - KANE - no relapses in drug treatment group
  • No lifestyle changes - just remember to take medication
  • Easy to administer - KANE showed fluphenazine injected 2-3 times a week works by blocking dopamine receptors
  • Psychosurgery much less invasive than it used to be
  • ECT is effective in treating drug resistant patients and helps lift depression

Disadvantages

  • Reductionist - only treats bodies reaction and perhaps not the cause
  • Drug use needs to be increased with time and can lead to harmful side effects e.g. clozapine effects the immune system so constant health checks are required
  • Issue of informed consent when patient is has been sectioned or has a serious disorder
  • ECT should only be a short term solution
  • Ethical issues surrounding psychosurgery
  • Drugs are not a long term solution as we don't know exactly how they act on the dopamine system. Take weeks to take effect
  • Effectiveness of fluphenazine limited to schizophrenics with one episode and for those in remission - cannot be generalised to all schizophrenics

Evaluation

Doesn't provide long term solutions unlike the cognitive approach. Ethical issues like behavioural approach.

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