Psychology & Psychiatry

What is Seroquel and should you take it for insomnia?

Quetiapine, sold under the brand name Seroquel, is a short-acting antipsychotic drug. It's used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder and as an add-on treatment for major depression and generalised anxiety disorder in ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Antipsychotic meds prompt zombie-like state among patients

Interviews with community members who are taking antipsychotic medication for mental health problems have added to growing concerns about how the drugs are administered, their effectiveness against placebo and the severity ...

Neuroscience

Researchers explain how LSD changes perception

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD have a profound impact on human consciousness, particularly perception. Researchers at Yale and the University of Zurich provide new insight into the psychedelic effects of LSD on the brain and ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Dietary supplement may help with schizophrenia

A dietary supplement, sarcosine, may help with schizophrenia as part of a holistic approach complementing antipsychotic medication, according to a UCL researcher.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Anti-psychotic medication linked to adverse change in brain structure

In a first-of-its-kind study using advanced brain imaging techniques, a commonly used anti-psychotic medication was associated with potentially adverse changes in brain structure. This study was the first in humans to evaluate ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers find high-risk genes for schizophrenia

Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI) has identified ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Report: 1 in 5 of US adults on behavioral meds

More than 20 percent of American adults took at least one drug for conditions like anxiety and depression in 2010, according to an analysis of prescription data, including more than one in four women.

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Antipsychotic

An antipsychotic (or neuroleptic) is a tranquilizing psychiatric medication primarily used to manage psychosis (including delusions or hallucinations, as well as disordered thought), particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. A first generation of antipsychotics, known as typical antipsychotics, was discovered in the 1950s. Most of the drugs in the second generation, known as atypical antipsychotics, have been developed more recently, although the first atypical antipsychotic, clozapine, was discovered in the 1950s and introduced clinically in the 1970s. Both generations of medication tend to block receptors in the brain's dopamine pathways, but antipsychotic drugs encompass a wide range of receptor targets.

A number of harmful and undesired (adverse) effects have been observed, including lowered life expectancy, weight gain, decrease in brain volume, enlarged breasts and milk discharge in men and women (hyperprolactinaemia), lowered white blood cell count (agranulocytosis), involuntary repetitive body movements (tardive dyskinesia), diabetes, an inability to sit still or remain motionless (akathisia), sexual dysfunction, a return of psychosis requiring increasing the dosage due to cells producing more neurochemicals to compensate for the drugs (tardive psychosis), and a potential for permanent chemical dependence leading to psychosis much worse than before treatment began, if the drug dosage is ever lowered or stopped (tardive dysphrenia).[citation needed]

Temporary withdrawal symptoms including insomnia, agitation, psychosis, and motor disorders may occur during dosage reduction of antipsychotics, and can be mistaken for a return of the underlying condition.

The development of new antipsychotics with fewer of these adverse effects and with greater relative effectiveness as compared to existing antipsychotics (efficacy), is an ongoing field of research.

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