Schizophrenia.com

Yes, anti-psychotic drugs change the brain

Antipsychotic medications are the most common treatment for individuals with schizophrenia, helping to relieve some of the debilitating symptoms caused by the disorder. But according to a new study, long-term use of these drugs may also negatively impact brain structure.

New research has discovered that long-term use of antipsychotic medications by people with schizophrenia has negative effects on the structure of the brain.

“The role played by antipsychotic treatment on the pathophysiologic trajectory of brain abnormalities in schizophrenia is currently a matter of lively debate,” said Dr. Antonio Vita, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Brescia in Italy, and director of the psychiatric unit at Spedali Civili Hospital.

What is clear, he says, is that research collected from cross-sectional and longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging studies shows that patients with schizophrenia show progressive structural brain abnormalities. The findings indicate that lower gray matter volume or greater loss of gray matter over time are associated with the duration of antipsychotic treatment or cumulative antipsychotic intake.

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But I read that second generation APs are better, right? Do they still cause brain damage? I know for a fact Haldol causes brain damage, but it repairs itself after getting off of it.

What do you think damages more, psychosis or the antipsych drugs?

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I would like to know this.

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@SzAdmin our fave muck raker is back. Can you please supply your usual links on the topic?

Pixel.

Yeah the part that makes me crazy , needs damaging.

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A study published today has confirmed a link between antipsychotic medication and a slight, but measureable, decrease in brain volume in patients with schizophrenia

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Key statement here - there is still a lot of research going on here. Lets see how this plays out.

Remember:

Gray Matter Loss in Brain Due to Psychotic Episodes / Schizophrenia, Not From Medications
http://schizophrenia.com/?p=692

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“it wasn’t clear what was behind the loss of brain matter. Some studies have indicated that a small percentage (less than 1%) might be due to medications but other research did not show that. Groups that are anti-medications jumped on this data to say that it was the medications that were causing the damage.”

http://schizophrenia.com/?p=692

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It said there was no measurable effect on cognitive functioning/symptoms.

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Very good point - something that Apothoesis seems to have neglected to have mentioned!

"For the first time, researchers have been able to examine whether this decrease is harmful for patients’ cognitive function and symptoms, and noted that over a nine year follow-up, this decrease did not appear to have any effect.

“The researchers also looked at whether there was any link between the volume of brain lost and the severity of symptoms or loss of cognitive function, but found no effect.”

and - even healthy control group people also loss brain tissue year over year:

“the researchers were able to show that schizophrenia patients lost brain volume at a rate of 0.7% each year. The control participants lost brain volume at a rate of 0.5% per year.”

See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/antipsychotic-drugs-linked-to-slight-decrease-in-brain-volume#sthash.wIJ6qiPi.dpuf

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cc: @SzAdmin @MrSquirrel

When I saw this in my incoming mail a few days ago, I read it very carefully and gave some thought to posting it. I decided against doing so because explaining the significance – and insignificance – of it seemed to require too much complexity.

Suffice it to say that it seems likely – given the specific neural tracks that are "thinned out – that loss of gray matter there is more of a “good” than “bad” thing for most sz pts because these are more often than not the tracks where the “stinking thinking” and “unconsidered impulsivity” hook up to produce the most unfortunate of the paranoid delusional behaviors.

Are some parts of the brain one would wish to keep as fully in play as possible effected by Da-blocking anti-Ps to our “detriment?” Yes. But in relatively minor ways compared to what appear to be actually beneficial effects of “neural pruning.”

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He’s not going to highlight any fact that would do a disservice to his cause of gathering Believers.

Pixel.

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I think what would be more interesting to know is that Hypothesis that Psychosis can causes Cognitive Decline…Cognition can ecompass a wide variety of things:-

predominantly

  1. Memory
  2. Thought process- both Depth and Agility
  3. Logic
  4. Creativity.
  5. Intelligence.
  6. Emotional Capacity

While I agree that there could be a slight decline in 2, I do not think Psychosis could effect the Memory, Logic, Creativity, Emotional capacity and Intelligence.

But we have ample evidence that Psychiatric Medications and Psychiatric Drugs badly hamper, damage and destroy all 6 aspects of Cognition paticularly aspects 4 and 6.

So isnt being off drugs better than being on them?.

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This is clearly a false statement. Please read the research.

Clearly not:

Again for serious cases and illness, Drugs are the only go.

There are a hundred trillion neurons in the brain, and we use only a small portion of those. We can afford to lose a few.

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I couldn’t live without meds, my hallucinations and delusions are too severe.

While I appreciate your orientation to Vedic medicine and a more behavioral rather than wholly medicinal approach to mental illness, sz is soooooooo genetic, epigenetic and/or pathophysiological that medications are a near 100% mandate.

That said, your notion that meditation practice is helpful is very often correct IF the pt is effectively stabilized with appropriate use of medication(s).

cc: @SzAdmin

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