Biological Therapies for Schizphrenia

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Biological Therapies

  • Antipsychotic Medication
  • Drugs that treat psychotic illnesses are called antipsychotics.
  • Help the person with the disorder function as well as increasing their wellbeing. 
  • conventional antipsychotics are used to combat the positive symptons of schizophrenia.
  • Atypical antipsychotics also combat these positive symptoons but there are claims that they have some beneficial effects on negative effects too.
  • Conventional Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Basic mechanism of conventional antipsychotics is to reduce the effects of dopamine and reduce the symptons of schizophrenia.
  • Conventional antipsychotics are dopamine antagonists because they bind to dopmaine receptors but do not stimulate them.
  • Antipsychotcs can therefore eliminate the hallucinations and delusions.
  • Dvelopment of the dopamine hypothesis.
  • Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs
  • Also act on the dopamine system but block seretonin receptors in the brain too.
  • Drugs do not involve serotonin or other neurotransmitters.
  • Help by temporarily occupying the D2 receptors and rapidly dissociating to allow normal dopamine transmission.
  • Lower levels of side effects such as tardive dyskinesia.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Historical Origins
  • Idea that schizophrenia could be cured by inducing seizures following reports that dementia praecox was rare in patients with severe epilepsy and that seizures in patients with dementia praecox reduced the symptons of the disorder.
  • First studies of this technique were disappointing but were compared with those not recieving ECT
  • What Happens in ECT
  • An electric current is passed through two electrodes- one on the non dominant side of the brain and the other in the middle of the forehead.
  • The patient is first injected with a short acting barbiturate so they are unconscious and then with a enrve blocking agent.
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