Describe biological therapies for schizophrenia

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The biological therapies for schizophrenia such antipsychotics are split into two. Typical which were the first generation and atypical which are the second generation. Typical antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine are believed to work by being dopamine antagonists, which means the drugs, bind to the dopamine receptors long term. Although they do not stimulate them therefore it blocks their action. By reducing stimulation of the dopamine system in the brain, conventional antipsychotic can eliminate the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions.

   There have been a lot of research studies into the effectiveness of typical antipsychotic medication. One of these studies compared relapse rates with those patients on a placebo. Davis et al discovered a significant difference in terms of relapse rates between actual drug treatment and placebo in every study that was reviewed, therefore demonstrating the therapeutic effectiveness of the typical drugs. It is not clear whether the difference in relapse rates is a result of withdrawal from the drug experienced by those given the placebo. However, a more recent analysis of drug typical drugs and placebo’s by Ross and Read has suggested that the previous results were misleading, as all those patients who were studied, including those who took placebos, were on antipsychotics before this study began. So the research was actually just a comparison between continued treatment and withdrawn treatment, instead of comparing drugs and no drugs.

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   When psychiatrists prescribe drugs they do this in terms of effectiveness and appropriateness. The appropriateness of typical drugs has been questioned by psychologists such as Bennett who found that the longer the typical drugs are taken the less likely side effects such as tardive dyskinesia will disappear even after the patient has stopped taking them. Around 30% of patients on these drugs develop the tardive dyskinesia, which is irreversible in 75% of cases. This shows that typical drugs are not that appropriate for their patients as it decreases their quality of life. However they are proven to reduce the ...

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