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Outline the Use and Mode of Action of two biological (somatic) therapies (15 marks)

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Introduction

Outline the Use and Mode of Action of two biological (somatic) therapies (15 marks) Chemotherapy is often used to treat patients with mental disorders. The drugs used are classified into four main types, all of which operate on the Central Nervous System (CNS). These are; Anti-anxiety drugs, Antidepressant drugs, Antipsychotic drugs and Anti-manic drugs. Anti-anxiety drugs are used to reduce anxiety, muscle tension and help calm people with emotional disorders. Barbiturates were initially used for depression of the CNS. However, they were found to cause a lack of concentration, lack of co-ordination and slurred speech in some cases. They also had a tendency to cause addiction. ...read more.

Middle

However, there are some side effects such as nervousness, rashes, fatigue and many more. Antipsychotic drugs are used most commonly to treat schizophrenia. There are four main types of them, Phenothiazines, which calm psychotic symptoms but can cause Parkinson's disease and Tardive Dyskenesia, Butyrophenones and Thioxanthenes reduce positive symptoms (such as delusions etc) but have little effect on negative (type II) symptoms (social withdrawl etc), Atypical drugs are more effective and seem to help with type II symptoms and do not produce Tradive Dyskenesia although are very expensive and can lead to problems with white blood cells, and Olanzapine, which does not effect white blood cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

In more recent techniques it is applied unilaterally, through the non-dominant hemisphere of the brain. Anaesthetics and muscle relaxants are also administered prior to the treatment. In the past the treatment was more violent and often brought about broken bones and bruising, today the whole treatment is a lot more humane. Convulsions last for a maximum of two minutes and are only visible as a slight twitching in facial muscles and toes. ECT is used for the treatment of depressives and as ECT is fast-acting it is often used on suicidal cases. No-one really knows why it works as well as it does but one theory is that it "resets all the programmes" quickly and provides the same action as drugs but faster. It is also thought to bring about biochemical changes and somehow, appears to alter neurotransmitter levels. ...read more.

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