Biological therapies for schziphrenia: antipsychotics

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Psychology unit 4 schizophrenia
Biological therapies-drugs
Conventional antipsychotics these bind onto the D2 receptors for a long time and
are known as Chlorpromazine. They treat the positive symptoms.
Atypical antipsychotics newer type of antipsychotics such as Clozapine. These
bind to D2 receptors for a short time, treat both positive and negative symptoms
and have fewer side effects. They have fewer side effect because they block
other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and they only effect D2 receptors for a
short amount of time.
Effectiveness of conventional antipsychotics- Davis did a meta analysis of 3519
people and found relapses occurred in 55% of the patients who had a placebo
instead of a real antipsychotic. Those who stayed on the real medication only
relapsed 19% of the time. This shows that conventional antipsychotics are
effective as less relapsed on real drugs than on placebos.
However, Ross and Read claimed that Davis' study was unfair as relapses in
the placebo condition could be due to the withdrawal of the real medication
as all patients were previously on real medication so the body may have
become biologically adapted to the drug by having more D2 receptors,
making it seen that the patient had more relapses without the drug.
Therefore it is argued that the increase in D2 receptors is the real cause of
the relapse rather than the lack of the drug.
Conventional antipsychotics have side effects it has been known to have causes
Tardive Dyskineasia in 30% of patients, which is a condition where the patient
loses control of their facial muscles.
Atypical's are slightly more effective than conventionals Leaucht did a meta
analysis comparing the effectiveness of conventional and atypical drugs and found
that 2 of the newer atypicals were slightly more effective, whilst another 2 were
no different in terms of effectiveness. Therefore some atypicals are more
effective, although this is only to a small degree of improved effectiveness.
Atypical's treat both positive and negative symptoms Leaucht also looked at the
typical effectiveness at treating negative symptoms and found that 2 were slightly
more effective, 1 was just as effective and 1 was slightly worse.

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Psychology unit 4 schizophrenia
Effectiveness can be influenced by psychological factors one study found that
antipsychotic medication only had positive effects if the family of the patient was
hostile and critical.
Atypical's have fewer side effects Jeste looked at the potential to develop
Tardive Dyskineasia for the 2 types of antipsychotics. After 9 months, 30% of
the conventional patients had developed the disorder whereas with the atypical
patients only 5% had developed the disorder.…read more


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