Medications Minimize Brain Damage
A new research study provides some early but positive signs that the newer antipsychotic medications may be better at minimizing the brain damage (specifically the gray matter loss that is common in the early stages of the onset of schizophrenia).
This is only one study, (so it needs to be confirmed by independent third parties) - and it may have been funded by the drug company involved (as they usually are), so results could potentially be biased. Lastly, there is a weakness from this study in terms of the lack of another control group – people who have schizophrenia, but are un-medicated.
Unfortunately, its difficult to interpret results from this study because the interpretation strongly depends on the unmedicated group that should/could have been included in the test (but wasn't).
If an un-medicated group had shown that the worst gray matter loss, one could then conclude that antipsychotic drugs prevent progressively deteriorating of gray matter.
Since there was not unmedicated control group we have to agree with this conclusion from the Archives of General Psychiatry article, that: "the differential treatment effects on brain morphology could be due to haloperidol-associated toxicity".
Following is the press release on the study:
Study shows new antipsychotic drug prevents brain loss in schizophrenia
New York, NY, April 4, 2005 --- A new brain imaging study of recently diagnosed schizophrenia patients has found, for the first time, that the loss of gray matter typically experienced by patients can be prevented by one of the new atypical antipsychotic drugs, olanzapine, but not by haloperidol, an older, conventional drug. The study, published in today's Archives of General Psychiatry, also confirmed previous studies that show patients who experience less brain loss do better clinically.
"This is a really big breakthrough," says the study's leader, Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute and chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. "The drugs we have for schizophrenia can't cure people who've been sick for years, but this study shows that the newer atypical drugs, if started early, can prevent the illness from progressing. If our findings are confirmed, one could argue that we should treat new patients with atypical drugs like olanzapine rather than older conventional medications such as haloperidol and chlorpromazine."
Gray matter contains the bulk of the brains cell's and the billions of connections among the cells. Loss of gray matter in patients with schizophrenia has been linked to social withdrawal and progressive deterioration in cognition and emotion--which are among the least responsive symptoms to medications.
To see if antipsychotic drugs could slow the initial brain changes in new patients, Dr. Lieberman and colleagues at 14 sites in North America and Europe measured brain volume and cognitive changes in 263 first-episode schizophrenia patients and 58 non-schizophrenic volunteers over a two-year period. Half of the patients received the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine and the other half took the conventional antipsychotic haloperidol. Dr. Lieberman initiated the study when he was professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, which also coordinated the research.
The study found that, on average, haloperidol-treated patients lost about two percent of their gray matter, or about 12 cubic centimeters. No changes were detected in the olanzapine-treated patients and the normal volunteers. Patients who lost gray matter, particularly in the frontal lobe of the brain, also had greater problems with cognitive functioning, as measured by tests of verbal fluency, verbal learning and memory.
Schizophrenia has always been known as a disease that causes progressive worsening of symptoms and deterioration in function, but only in the last 10 years have researchers found that the brains of schizophrenics are also progressively deteriorating.
"People used to think that the deterioration was inevitable, but now we're thinking that if you can prevent the acute episodes of psychosis in schizophrenia you can actually stop the loss of gray matter," Dr. Lieberman says.
"It also gives us hope that we will be able to completely forestall the disease in the future by intervening before psychosis even begins," Dr. Lieberman adds. "In three to five years, we should have ways to identify which adolescents will become schizophrenic, and we can then begin to test the preventative power of treatments
More information about the gray matter loss associated with schizophrenia - and pictures of this loss.
More Research on schizophrenia's impact on the brain
Posted by szadmin at April 10, 2005 12:24 AM
More Information on Schizophrenia Medications
I'm not schizophrina and never had any symptoms of it and don't trust twisted professionals to make decisions on my behalf . They don't investigate me nor do they know me well enough the just make quik assumptions and un professional condemptions dr.s and nurses are scams and twisted thieves who get ther pay cheques in the mail for playing fucking mind games with innocent people the those bunch of medical crooks . head games i'm fine and never took medication in 5 years .
Posted by: Will at December 28, 2005 02:31 PM
I was locked up in the psychiatric hospital forced and unknown injection into me when I was younger first admission and I went paralyzed I woke up in a hospital bed The doctors told me I had a bad reaction to the drugs and ever since then I have had nerve damage on the right side of my neck up to my head . its always sore .
Posted by: Will at December 29, 2005 05:55 PM
HERE IS MY STORY
I have been accused and diagnosed of schizophrinia . I'am forced to take antipychotic medication and have been ordered tranquilization when I was locked up in hospital regardless of my human rights . I have done a lot of research in the area of mental illness and recognize and don't feel or see any symptoms of any sort of illness . "I was lied to " by professional nurses and doctors they would ridicule me and write lies about my behaviors in my medical records I know this because I read them and everything they would say and write were real lies . I believe this is so bad that my own parents think i'm crazy . They also think that I can't remember and I loss my memory or something . What gives these professionals the right to make fales observations and assumptions on my behalf and rights . it seems hopeless I have them coming to my house every day tryin to brain wash me oh just take your meds your not all there I believe they are clowns . They don't understand my areas of learning and don't care about my beliefs have not right critizing my beliefs especially what they don't understand sometimes I talk about phenomenal interest psychic learning ,secret sciences and try to say everything I worked hard for in science is an illness they should take there fxxkin remarks to them selves they just want to make money off the medication its all a scam. I will continue my work in science and let the rest of the world think what they want to think I don't have time to wast with a bunch of clowns . I'm sick of control and lies treating me like an experimental guinea pig fxxking Doctors bunch of pigs my whole medical record is a hoax and lie bunch of professional thieves tryin to rule my life I won't allow it to happen .
As is known there are many, many instances of medical abuses and this everywhere... usually unreported by the whorish media. It is the duty of every individual to fight against the rule of GREED and SELFISHNESS (of the few) the way to do this being by fighting first against the INDIFFERENCE and MENTAL LAZINESS of the many. And that means all of us... Please forward this Testimony to as many people as possible . Thank you for your kindness .
Posted by: Will at January 7, 2006 03:17 PM
Eventhough I believe I have schizophrenia and brain damage( I had alot of their symptoms) I think what I'm experiencing is something other then the usual schizophreniz. For starters when I here disembodied voices they say things that are not normally hard by schizophrenics. They never tell me to kill myself, they never tell me I'm evil or I'm godor the devil. All I here is constant harassment and sometimes it sounds like it was coming from outside my bedroom window, but everytime I look outside my window I see nothing. Sometimes I here the voices coming from upperside of my bathroom wall.Othertimes I hear them coming from my TV. Sometimes it seems as though their reading my mind. But heres when things get really strange, before I went into the mental hospital. I was hearing people being murdered (being shot)onetime I heard it coming from the side of my bedroom wall.
Posted by: Demetrius at December 17, 2006 03:16 PM
Othertimes I would hear the murders coming from outside my windows from distances I could not believe I could hear. I said to myself my hearing is not that good. Years later I checked and see if anybody been reported murdered during the months I heard them, and I found nothing that added up. The voices tell me things before I see and experience it Or things I could not know. Sometime I feel I'll be murdered, pulled from my house and shot to death.While everybody watch. Then I might go missing or something.
Posted by: Demetrius at December 17, 2006 03:41 PM
i have brain damage since july 4 1988 in coma for 5 months from july till november n i realized not long after in was in rehibilation july till november went of my meds after i got out of hospital being all rehabitated n grad uation with my own class in 92 they still can't believe it n they what me bac on my meds n still live on ssi well guess what i not tht old to retire i still like to work n stay busy so the ppl with brain damage thts not tht mnajor my life now is fine
Posted by: jason schindler at February 3, 2007 11:44 AM
I am diagnosed with schizophrenia. I used to take antipsychotics but now I refuse because I would rather talk to the voice than suffer the side-effects of the medication. I really wonder if it is the haleperidol rather than the schizophrenia that caused brain damage in the study. I do not believe I have a disease.
Posted by: Colin at February 26, 2007 02:56 PM
I think the voices and stuff I heard and are still hearing was the result of a demon and other spirits which are living in my house. I now know this because just a few hours ago I saw a black shadow looking at me.
Posted by: Demetrius Caldwell at March 9, 2007 06:22 PM
I AM BIPOLAR I WAS DIAGNOSSED AFTER TWO DEATHS MY MOM AND MY BROTHERS 1996 AND 1999. I WAS PLACED IN MENTAL HOSPITAL BOTH TIMES BUT ON ONE OF THOSE OCCASSIONS I SPENT NINE MONTHS THERE BUT I WAS 1 MONTH PREGNANT. I WAS GIVEN VALPROIC ACID, HALPERIDOL (hALDOL), VISTARIL INJECTIONS, COGENTIN. MY CHILD IS 9 YEARS OLD AND HAS HAD NINE YEARS OF PAIN. MULTIPLE SURGERY'S, INFECTIONS, RETARDATION,AND OTHER DISSABILITY'S. I FEEL IN MY HEART HIS HEALTH AND IMMUNE SYSTEM WAS TRUELY COMPROMISED BY THE MEDICATIONS I HAD BEEN GIVEN. IF SOMEONE CAN HELP ME GET JUSTICE FOR MY CHILD I WOULD BE FOREVER GRATEFULL. PLEASE E-MAIL ME AT UNKNOWNAUTHOR_SFN@YAHOO.COM. THANK YOU.
Posted by: LENA at April 10, 2007 12:44 PM