PSYC 1000 Chapter Notes -Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Antipsychotic, Electroconvulsive Therapy

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Published on 6 Aug 2012
School
University of Guelph
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 1000
Course: PSYC*1000 (DE)
Professor: Harvey Marmurek
Schedule: Summer, 2012
Textbook: Psychology – Tenth Edition in Modules authored by David G. Myers
Textbook ISBN: 9781464102615
Module 54: The Biomedical Therapies
Biomedical therapy can be used by physically changing the brain’s functioning by altering its chemistry with drugs,
or affecting its circuitry with electroconvulsive shock, magnetic impulses or psychosurgery.
Drug Therapies
What are the drug therapies? How do double-blind studies help researchers evaluate a drug’s effectiveness?
Most widely used biomedical treatments today are the drug therapies. Since the 1950s, discoveries in
psychopharmacolgy (the study of drug effects on mind and behaviour) have revolutionized the treatment of people
with severe disorders, liberating hundreds of thousands from hospital confinement. Initially there is a wave of
enthusiasm when a new treatment comes out, but it often diminishes after researchers subtract the rate of (1)
normal recovery among untreated persons and (2) recovery due to the placebo effect, which arises from the positive
expectations of patients and mental health workers alike.
Anti-psychotic drugs: Such as chlorpromaxine (Thorazine) dampened responsiveness to irrelevant stimuli,
providing most help to patients experiencing positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The molecules of most
conventional anti-psychotic drugs are similar enough to molecules of the neurotransmitter dopamine to occupy its
receptor sites and blocks its activity. This finding reinforces the idea that an overactive dopamine system contributes
to schizophrenia. Anti-psychotics also have powerful side effects. Some produce sluggishness, tremors, and
twitches similar to those of Parkinson’s disease. Long-term use of anti-psychotics can produce tardive dykinesia,
with involuntary movements of the facial muscles, tongue, and limbs. Although not more effective in controlling
schiz symptoms, many of the newer generation anti-psychotics, such as risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapien
(Zyprexa) have fewer of these effects. These drugs, however, may increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Anti-anxiety drugs: Like alcohol, Xanax or Ativan, depress central nervous system activity; used in
combination with psychological therapy. One anti-anxiety drug, the antibiotic D-cycloserine, acts upon a receptor
that, in combination with behavioural treatments, facilitates the extinction of learned fears. Experiments indicate that
the drug enhances the benefits of exposure therapy and helps relieve the symptoms of PTSD and OCD. Criticized
that they reduce symptoms without resolving underlying problems. Can cause physiological dependence. The rate
of out-patient treatment for anxiety disorders has nearly doubled over the dozen years of the end of the 20th century.
Increased 52-70% of psychiatric patients receiving medication. New standard drug treatment for anxiety disorders-
anti-depressants.
Anti-depressant drugs: named for their ability to lift people up from a state of depression, and this was their
main use until recently. Being used to treat OCD, anxiety. They work by increasing the availability of norepinephrine
or serotonin, neurotransmitters that elevate arousal and mood and appear scarce during depression. Fluoxetine
(Prozac) partially blocks the reabsorption and removal of serotonin from synapses. Because they slow the synaptic
vacuuming up of serotonin, Prozac and its cousins Zoloft and Paxil are called selective-serotonin-reuptake-inhibitors
(SSRIs). Other antidepressant drugs work by blocking the reabsorptoin or breakdown of both norepinephrine and
serotonin. Though effective, these dual-action drugs have more potential side effects, such as dry mouth, weight
gain, hypertension, or dizzy spells. Administering them by means of a patch, bypassing the intestines and liver,
helps reduce such side effects. After the introduction of SSRIs, the percentage of patients receiving medication for
depression jumped dramatically, from 70% in 1987 to 89% in 2001. Although drugs begin to influence
neurotransmission within hours, their full psychological effect often requires four weeks. One possible reason for the
delay is that increased serotonin promotes neurogensis – the birth of new brain cells – perhaps reversing stress-
induced loss of neurons.
Mood-stabilizing medications: for those suffering the emotional highs and lows of bipolar disorder, the
simple salt lithium can be an effective mood stabilizer. After suffering mood swings for years, about 7 in 10 people
with bipolar disorder benefit from a long-term daily dose of this cheap salt, which helps prevent or ease manic
episodes and, to a lesser extent, lifts depression. It also protects neural health, thus reducing bipolar patients’
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Document Summary

Textbook: psychology tenth edition in modules authored by david g. myers. Biomedical therapy can be used by physically changing the brain"s functioning by altering its chemistry with drugs, or affecting its circuitry with electroconvulsive shock, magnetic impulses or psychosurgery. Most widely used biomedical treatments today are the drug therapies. Since the 1950s, discoveries in psychopharmacolgy (the study of drug effects on mind and behaviour) have revolutionized the treatment of people with severe disorders, liberating hundreds of thousands from hospital confinement. Anti-psychotic drugs: such as chlorpromaxine (thorazine) dampened responsiveness to irrelevant stimuli, providing most help to patients experiencing positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The molecules of most conventional anti-psychotic drugs are similar enough to molecules of the neurotransmitter dopamine to occupy its receptor sites and blocks its activity. This finding reinforces the idea that an overactive dopamine system contributes to schizophrenia. Some produce sluggishness, tremors, and twitches similar to those of parkinson"s disease.

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