Evaluate 2 biological therapies for Schizophrenia essay

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  • Created on: 08-09-12 13:25
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Evaluate 2 biological therapies for Schizophrenia (8 marks)
One biological therapy for treating Schizophrenia is the use of chemotherapy. Advantages of the use
of drugs are that they are effective in treating the positive symptoms of Schizophrenia, for example
auditory hallucinations and delusions which enables many patients to be released from hospital.
However, chemotherapy does not offer a cure for Schizophrenia as it only treats the symptoms and
not the cause. Also they have little effect on the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia and so patients
who suffer only from negative symptoms are unaffected by drugs.
Also, the introduction of these drugs in the 1950s rapidly reduced many of disturbing symptoms and
sharply decreased the average length of stay in hospital.
About 30% of patients with schizophrenia do not respond favourably to these antipsychotics and
many about 30% suffer from side effects such as tardive dyskinesia which is irreversible in 75% of
cases (Hill, 1986). Because of the side effects, about half of the patients taking antipsychotics stop
taking them after a year and up to 75% after 2 years. For this reason, patients are often treated with
long-lastin antipsychotics which are injected. However, the longer an individual has been taking
antipsychotics, the less likely any side effect are to disappear, even after the drug is discontinued.
Electroconvulsive Therapy is used as a last resort in treating Schizophrenia. There are significant risks
associated with ECT, including memory dysfunction, brain damage and even death. A third of patients
suffer from memory loss. Also, the effectiveness of ECT is inconclusive. Sarita et al found no
difference in symptom reduction between 36 Schizophrenia patients treated with ECT. Also, some
psychologists refuse to use ECT as no one yet understands how exactly ECT works and there may be
some discomfort about using a method which cannot be explained. ECT does however, offer faster
relief than drugs, which may be important for suicidal patients and extreme cases. There are ethical
issues involved in the use of ECT. The Department of Health considered 700 patients who received
ECT were sectioned and so 59% had not consented to treatment and so there is an issue of informed



hey, what grade did you get for this?

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