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July 08, 2005
Seroquel Effective Against Aggression?
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Seroquel is effective against aggression in patients with schizophrenia
The majority of people suffering from schizophrenia are not violent. However, there seems to be a misconception about the disorder, in that many people perceive those suffering from schizophrenia as being violent. Despite this misconception, violence associated with schizophrenia is still an issue that some sufferers face - especially people with a history of violence, people with dual-diagnosis (drug abuse and schizophrenia), and people with command hallucinations. A recent article discusses a new study which examines the role of the antipsychotic Seroquel in the exhibition of violent behavior in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The study which was published in the journal "Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental" suggests that Seroquel may be " an effective treatment option for patients with schizophrenia who exhibit aggressive behavior during psychotic episodes."
This study confirms other studies that have shown that in general, people who have schizophrenia (and have a history of violence) and are on any anti-psychotic medications - tend to be significantly less violent. We therefore view this as a general affirmation that for people who have schizophrenia - especially those with any violence in their background - medications (all anti-psychotic medications) are a good thing.
Of course, the study that would be most valuable to individuals and families would be a good, independent study comparing the effectivness of all anti-psychotic medications in terms of their effectiveness in treating schizophrenia, and in treating any violent tendencies on the small segment of the population that have these tendencies. Eventually, the NIHM (National Institute of Mental Health) may do this.
However, what we're reporting today is just one study, likely sponsored by the manufacturer of the drug, in which it states:
In the Seroquel study, patients who received Seroquel demonstrated significantly greater improvements in symptoms of aggression and hostility compared to patients receiving placebo (p<0.01 on Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) alternative hostility cluster score, one of three parameters derived from the BPRS to measure hostility symptoms in the study.).
The results show that patients who received Seroquel demonstrated significantly greater improvements in symptoms of aggression and hostility, compared with patients taking placebo, across all three efficacy parameters used in the study. In addition, the analysis showed that these improvements in hostility were highly correlated with improvements seen in patients' positive symptoms (characterized by delusions, an inability to think clearly and hallucinations).
Though these results suggest that Seroquel may be effective in treating aggression in schizophrenia - it doesn't compare the effectiveness of other medications that may have the same abilities, and the study provides very little information about the patients themselves. That is, how long have they been suffering from schizophrenia? And, how long have they been exhibiting violent behavior. Further, what kind of violent behavior were they prone to exhibit? Thus, it seems important to gather much more information about the study before drawing any useful conclusions.
Posted by Laura at July 8, 2005 09:13 PM
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