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There are three types of biological therapies for schizophrenia, these are;
psychosurgery, ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) and chemotherapy drug
Drug therapy (chemotherapy)
Drug therapy is the most common treatment for schizophrenia. The drugs used
are antipsychotic drugs, also referred to as neuroleptics. There are two types
of drugs used, typical antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics. Antipsychotic
drugs are used to reduce the effects of dopamine and atypical antipsychotic
drugs also work on reducing serotonin activity.
Typical antipsychotics
Reduce the effects of dopamine.…read more

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Evaluation/effectiveness of Drugs AO2
Both typical and atypical drugs have been shown to be effective treatments
for sz. The reduction in psychotic symptoms that drug therapy produces allows
patients to lead relatively normal lives, and most can be treated on an
outpatient basis.
Effective typical drugs +
Julien (2005) showed that antipsychotic drugs are effective in controlling
positive symptoms and have allowed people with schizophrenia to live
outside institutionalised care.…read more

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Not effective atypical drugs -
· Clozapine appears to be effective in controlling positive symptoms and does
not give rise to as many side effects as older drugs. However, it can produce a
condition in which the immune system is damaged.
Appropriateness of typical drugs
Remington & Kapur (2000)= By the early 1990s clozapine had been
reintroduced for clinical use in a number of countries, with accumulating
evidence that it was superior even to other second-generation
antipsychotics in refractory psychosis.…read more

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This is the most invasive biological treatment, as parts of the brain are
removed, and the effects are irreversible. The first psychosurgical procedure
was the frontal lobotomy, which involves destroying the fibres which connect
the frontal cortex to the lower brain centres. Despite early optimism, there
was no reliable evidence that procedures were successful. Today,
psychosurgery is less damaging, and is only used as a last resort to treat
terminal conditions.…read more

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The patient lies down and is given a relaxing anaesthetic. 70-130 volts are
passed through their brain for approximately 30 seconds. This is usually done by
fixing electrodes to the forehead. The current induces convulsions that last for
approximately 1 minute. Treatments are given 2/3 times a week for4 weeks.
The patient recalls nothing of the procedure.
ECT was originally used by Carletti and Bini (1938) to treat a man with
schizophrenia, although it is usually used to treat severe depression.…read more

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ECT should only be used when drug therapy has failed and there is a risk
that the patient will commit suicide.
When ECT was first introduced, there were several side effects such as
memory loss, although these have since been reduced.
ECT has a history of abuse, and was often used as a method of patient
The Mental Health Act 2007 states that ECT is prohibited if the patient
refuses treatment and is capable of doing so, and parents cannot
override children's refusal.…read more


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