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Different Antipsychotics Have Different Effects on Brain Volume

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Different Antipsychotics Have Different Effects on Brain Volume - Mad In America

January 17, 2015

First generation antipsychotics seem to cause general brain volume loss, while second generation antipsychotics seem to both increase and decrease the thickness of different parts of the brain, according to a study led by University of Melbourne researchers published in Psychological Medicine. And the effects on the brain, they found, are noticeable within a matter of months of beginning to take the medications.

Participants in the research were drawn from a cohort of 162 first-episode patients diagnosed with schizophrenia or affective psychosis who'd been taking antipsychotics for about three months, and 87 controls, who were involved in the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre study between 1994 and 1999.

The researchers found that the participants' diagnosis or type of illness did not have any predictive effects on the amount or kind of brain volume changes. These findings were in line with other studies; however, unlike other studies, the researchers found differences between how the first-generation (FGAs) and second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) were changing the brain.

"Analysis of each treatment group compared with controls demonstrated that FGAs were associated with decreased thickness in frontal regions, whereas SGAs were associated with increased thickness of pre- and postcentral gyri in addition to decreased thickness of medial frontal, parietal and fusiform areas," the researchers stated.

"Our results suggest that FGA and SGA treatments have divergent effects on cortical thickness during the first episode of psychosis that are independent from changes due to illness," they concluded. The researchers then suggested that the elements of brain thickening caused by second generation antipsychotics "may have positive benefits on symptoms."

(Abstract) (Full text) Divergent effects of first-generation and second-generation antipsychotics on cortical thickness in first-episode psychosis (Ansell, B. et al. Psychological Medicine. February 2015. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291714001652)
 
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Rose19602

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Well that's slightly reassuring I suppose, although "may have positive benefits..." doesn't sound like anything's been proven does it?

What does thickening or decreasing brain volume do to people I wonder.....can they tell us? It sounds like a bit of a drastic outcome if we don't know what effect it might have on mh conditions and whether or not it's reversible.

Hmmm....I hate these studies. They concern me with their lack of clarity.
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So basically it seems that we've all just been one big experiment - drugs were prescribed without knowledge of such severe side-effects - it makes me so cross that they have got away with it here. At least in the US people have been able to sue, here in the UK there doesn't seem to be any recourse to the drug companies involved, nor the psychiatrists that continue to prescribe them.

A year and a half ago I told a psychiatrist that they could cause brain shrinkage and he laughed at me.

I know that some people may find they alleviate symptoms for a time - but at what cost?
 
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Rose19602

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I got laughed at and patronised with a health anxiety dx when I suggested that ADs had caused my heart problem. The sarcasm was vile.....it was my lack of insight, not even the vaguest notion that I could be right, even with news stories on the drug causing heart problems at higher doses.

I was disgusted.
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i think part of the difficulty is that so little is really known about mental health conditions, about the brain, & about the effects of medication.

i think there is a valid role for the wise use of medications, but i feel there should be far more of a primary focus on other more comprehensive approaches to understanding, care & support. Even within an ideal system, i'd think there would be a role for medications.

i feel abused by the mental health system, & i think far more could have been done & could now be done to help me - But i also have to accept the realities of the current social & medical systems & try & live my life as best i can. All things considered, it's a lesser of evils for me to continue to take the medication.

Very strange, but in certain ways maybe the medication has been of positive benefits. i think a lot of these areas are as Doctors say; a risk/benefit scenario.

Overall i have maintained a degree of stability & independent living since maintaining the medication. Maybe it has also helped me to focus my mind in certain ways. One person thinks the medication has made me more intelligent.

i think it's very complex areas. i don't really agree with how widespread psychiatric drugging is, nor with the large exclusion of trying other approaches - But there is nothing i can really do about the way everything is either. There is nothing i can really do about my own dependence on this medication.
 
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Rose19602

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The medication "might" have made it easier for you to articulate your thoughts and spend time researching topics of interest; but it won't have made you "more" intelligent. You probably always were!:flowers:
 

cpuusage

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The medication "might" have made it easier for you to articulate your thoughts and spend time researching topics of interest; but it won't have made you "more" intelligent. You probably always were!:flowers:
Thanks - i'm just not sure with everything? i do think that 13 years of sobriety, 10 years of a basic mindfulness/meditation practise, & a lot of reading/research has helped with things, as well as trying to maintain as healthy a diet as possible. Maybe all the nicotine & caffeine helps as well? i know i need to address doing more exercise.

i do feel damaged from things in the past, & maybe there is some type of brain damage as well? But there does now appear to be a degree of equilibrium.

i think there is a lot of truth in the areas of epigenetics & brain plasticity.

i'm not a neurologist/scientist/psychiatrist - From a layman's understanding, maybe there are certain beneficial cognitive effects from a low dose of medication in certain cases in relation to some presentations of psychosis/schizophrenia? As far as i'm aware the brain reacts to suppression of the dopamine system by increasing the amount of receptors & their sensitivity, & so in certain ways maybe parts of the brain are strengthened possibly? Different doses/drugs/length of time on the medication i think is going to effect things as well (as well as a myriad of variables).

Anyway, we need more drugs like these -

Limitless Movie Trailer Official (HD) - YouTube

Lucy TRAILER 1 (2014) - Luc Besson, Scarlett Johansson Movie HD - YouTube
 
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