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Tags: schizophrenia | thorazine | psychiatry | Alzheimers

A Cure Worse Than the Disease

Friday, 26 Jan 2018 04:20 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There is little question that the drugs used to treat mental disorders worsen the symptoms and even produce new, often more dangerous symptoms.

Take, for instance, schizophrenia, which is associated with:

• Psychosis

• Hallucinations

• Paranoid delusions

• Disorganized speech and thinking

• Breakdown in thought processes

When Thorazine came on the scene, psychiatrists were excited to see the dramatic improvement it made in their patients. One study found that 75 percent were significantly improved.

But they failed to look at what happened to the patients on long-term drug treatments. According to Whitaker, when studies were finally conducted, researchers found that unmedicated patients were better off after one year — and the difference was even more dramatic after five years.

When looking at symptom relapse rates, scientists found that only 7 percent of unmedicated patients relapsed, while 65 percent of medicated patients relapsed.

Even more shocking was the finding that the medicated patients experienced worse symptoms on relapse. According to long-term studies, the medicated patients often became social “zombies” who would just sit and stare at the TV, rarely engaging in social interaction with others.

Researchers concluded that most mental illnesses, especially the severe forms, could improve over time — but not in those taking medications.

Why would medications make the patients worse if they seem so beneficial in the short term?

The answer to that mystery came from two researchers at McGill University who determined that because these drugs block most of the dopamine receptors in the brain, over time more receptors were generated, which made the brain hypersensitive to dopamine.

Dopamine overactivity in the brain is the cause of many symptoms of schizophrenia.

The majority of patients not treated with the antipsychotic drugs improved significantly. In fact, in one study, 73 percent returned to normal lives and employment.

Another surprise was that taking the medications correlated with degeneration of the frontal lobes of the brain, along with other brain alterations not seen in patients who did not take the drugs.

Examination of the brains of older patients who took antidepressant medications found changes similar to those observed in Alzheimer’s dementia.

This was clearly a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

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When Thorazine came on the scene, psychiatrists were excited to see the dramatic improvement it made in their patients. One study found that 75 percent were significantly improved.
schizophrenia, thorazine, psychiatry, Alzheimers
Friday, 26 Jan 2018 04:20 PM
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