Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia

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Psycholog
y
Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia
Antipsychotic Drugs
Two types of drugs, first generation (typical) and second generation (atypical)
First generation (typical): Arrest dopamine production by inhibiting
receptors. Reduce positive symptoms. Eg. Chlorpromazine
Second generation (atypical): Reduce serotonin as well as dopamine. Reduce
both the positive and negative symptoms.
Evaluation
Liberman et al (2005) found that 74% of patients on 1st and 2nd generation
antipsychotics stopped taking their medication within 18 months due to side
effects.
Davis et al (1989) found that 70% of those treated with antipsychotics
improved within 6 weeks compared to 25% of those treated with placebos.
Suggests that they are effective, but also that placebos are effective on some
patients. Also shows that on 30% of patients it is ineffective.
It's only effective if patients consistently take the drugs, but side effects
sometimes put them off so it may not always be the most appropriate
treatment.
Reductionist - only addresses biological factors
Trower et al (2000) found that they were most effective when used alongside
CBT
Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)
Patient is given a nerve blocking agent to prevent full body convulsions. Given
a 1-3 second low voltage shock to the frontal lobes.
Unknown how it works, but it has been shown that it's effective in treating
schizophrenia.
Jack
Richardson

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Psycholog
y
Evaluation
Tharyan and Adams (2005) did a Meta Analysis of 26 ECT studies. 50% of
patients who improved after ECT relapsed within 6 months - not effective in
the long term.
Fish (1997) found that 20-30 sessions are needed for it to be effective, it's
usually 15 for other disorders. Also found it was 60-80% effective against
specific categories, so may only be appropriate for certain patients.…read more

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