Brain Gray matter loss and inflamation associated with Development of Psychosis / Schizophrenia - Not Due to Medications

There is a lot of attention paid to the gray matter loss in the brain of people who have schizophrenia - by the antipsychiatry groups that blame medications on this brain change.

A new study by Yale University and refutes that belief - it occurs even in those people not on medications:

“Thirty-five individuals ultimately converted to psychosis and they showed a steeper rate of thinning in prefrontal cortex compared with those who did not convert and the healthy control group. Importantly, this tissue loss was not explained by exposure to antipsychotic drugs.”

“Because this differential rate of tissue loss was observed among subjects who had never been exposed to psychiatric drugs, we can conclude that the brain changes are part of the natural course of the disorder rather than being a consequence of treatment,” explained Cannon.

Read the full study report here:

Actual research paper is here:


Yeah I’ve heard this is true, but the antipsychotics cause brain atrophy by 10%. Apparently they have proved this to be true in tests with humans, rats, and monkeys. But I think they only experimented with haldol and zyprexa.

I respectfully disagree - I think this is wrong - show your sources that have led you to believe this.


Hello Admin,

Here are some links that say there was a slight decrease in brain size with antipsychotics, which may or may not be because of the meds actually, but it is hypothesized to be the case. It has been shown however, that when this reduction of neurons occurs, there is no report of decreased cognitive abilities.

Here an article that documents the 10% figure.

And of course there is an article on Mad In America, which yes, is anti-psychiatry, so this is probably irrelevant, but the article is written by Joanna Moncrieff, and she most likely knows what she is talking about.

Now, I am not saying I myself believe in this, but I am just being aware that it could be true. I’m sure there are many articles explaining that antipsychotics actually prevent brain matter loss, and that is probably true too. But I think it should be reasonable to say that both untreated psychosis and the medications for treating it both have the potential to cause negative effects on the brain. Please don’t think I am anti-psychiatry.

Thank you Admin and take care!

Yeah, thats what i keep saying, like in my other post, they are really ■■■■■■■ killing me.

Okay, let’s put it like this, it’s someone and somehow doing this to me, really it is, not a delusion, really, i know im crazy but it really is. Gotta hear me out on this one.

They won’t find the biological cause of this problem, there won’t be any irrefutable proof of any biological cause.

It’s them, they are really ■■■■■■■ killing me right now, and really really slow to.

I think @firemonkey posted a link that showed that brain mass wasn’t an indicator of intelligence. Chess masters were said to have had smaller brains than novices. In any case, I take my meds for a reason and they’d have to do a lot worse for me to stop.


You have to read this carefully - you’re reading it wrong.

Here is a quote from the article:

“Use of antipsychotics explained 6.6% of the change in total brain volume and 1.7% of the change in total grey-matter volume.”

so - what that means is 93.6 % of the change in the total brain volume is just the disorder (schizophrenia).

6.6% OF THE CHANGE in total volume “might” be due to antipsychotics, and

just 1.7% of TOTAL GRAY MATTER VOLUME REDUCTION is possibly due to Medication.

So the Medications are a very tiny part of the equation - from this knowledgeable source that you’ve given me.

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Again - this article doesnt say much to support what you mentioned. In fact much refutes it , or agrees with the new research above:

"Later in 2011 Andreasen’s group published a paper that reasserted the idea that schizophrenia is responsible for brain shrinkage, in which there is barely a mention of the effects of antipsychotics that were revealed in the group’s earlier paper(7). In this second paper, what the authors did was to assume that any brain shrinkage that could not be accounted for by the method of analysis used to explore the effects of antipsychotic treatment must be attributable to the underlying disease. "

The latest paper by this research group replicates the findings on antipsychotic-induced brain shrinkage, but also claims that brain volume reduction is related to relapse of the psychotic disorder(9).


but the first thing to stress is that the reductions in brain volume that are detected in these MRI studies are small, and it is not certain that changes of this sort have any functional implications. We do not yet know whether these changes are reversible or not.

Ah - and the 10% reference is from an animal study without a control group.

"Animal studies support the link. David Lewis, a neuroscientist and psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, found that healthy non-human primates, given doses of antipsychotics similar to those given to humans, showed brain volume reductions of around 10%, mostly attributable to loss of the glial cells that support and protect neurons4,5.

But Lewis, who has written an editorial to accompany Ho’s study6, warns that his own, Ho’s and other studies are “convergent but still circumstantial”. It is impossible to distinguish the effect of the disease from that of the drug, he says, because "both are changing over time""

I’m greeting this with skepticism. I think the typical anti-psych’s do cause brain atrophy. There were things I couldn’t do when I was on Haldol that I can do on Geodon. I couldn’t write on Haldol, at all. I can on Geodon. All the anti-psych’s cause a general loss of physical vigor. It would be just as easy for them to diminish mental strength.

I guess you’re right. More problems are created by psychosis. Thanks admin. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m never getting back on antipsychotics though, poison.

Take care!

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Dont know what meds you are on @pansdisease, but you can always try different ones, or cutting down-under a doctors care of course. Im on the fence about SOME medications, and for SOME people.It`s entirely possible that you are on the wrong meds, and this could cause problems.
My son is dealing with this now-you can too! **

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I still dont believe this biological model.

Just because I don’t like these new research findings doesn’t mean I’m going to stick to my guns and insist that it is the medications causing my cognitive decline. With all the evidence pointing to sz psychotic episodes as being the culprit, the most obvious thing to do now is to follow my doctor’s advice and take the anti psychotic meds. I want to have as little psychosis as possible. I want to hang on to the brain cells I have. Especially now that I have so few left.


Your life won’t be so wonderful if you start uncritically taking advice from psychiatrists.
The idea that the shrink is objective is vitiated by psychiatry’s relationship with the drug industry. Any gift received makes the recipient inclined to repay the favor (as any textbook on social psychology will reveal), and here in US the consultation fees are often larger than the salary.
Your bIggest worry will b e tardive dyskinesia, particularly likely to afflict older people. And those who have taken them for over 20 years ( about 65%).
TD looks like and I’m told feels like Parkinson’s.It is a lie that the atypicals don’t cause TD–see Robert Whitaker’s books.Or his blog, where Dr Moncrieff posts. With the atypicals you can also worry about diabetes
obesity, and cardio-vascular problems.
There is nothing about cognitive decline in these studies.
With your blind faith in your doctors, it’s a miracle you’ve had such a wonderful life. Don’t throw it away.
Seth Farber, PH.D. The Spiritual Gift of Madness

You seem confused, madness is nog a gift.