UK Study Finds Psychiatric Drugs Damage Brains

A UK study supports the view that neuroleptic drugs cause brain damage. An article on this study, Anti-psychotics likely to cause brain damage, new study claims, has been published on the psychminded.co.uk website.

The results challenge the widely-held view that schizophrenia itself causes brain structural changes, such as less brain grey matter, bigger ventricles and larger cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) spaces, claim researchers.

Earlier this year, the results of this research were published in the Psychological Medicine journal.

Studying MRI scans, researchers compared brain changes in patients on drugs to those not maintained on drugs. 14 of 24 studies showed the brain sizes of people on neuroleptic drugs had shrunken appreciably. Only 5 of 21 studies of people not maintained on neuroleptic drugs showed any shrinkage, but no difference was reported in 3 of these studies involving patients who had been ill for a long time, and yet who took no neuroleptic drugs.

I imagine some of the patients who didn’t take the drugs had taken the drugs at some point in their lives, and that might explain some of the discrepancies in these results a little.

“Overall there seems to be enough evidence to suggest that antipsychotic drug treatment may play a role in reducing brain volume and increasing CSF or ventricular spaces,” the researchers wrote. Further research is urgently required, stated the paper, entitled A Systematic Review of the Effects of Antipsychotic Drugs on Brain Volume.

Note: the word used here is urgent.

This kind of research has been going on for some time, and for some time it has been receiving a cold shoulder from many professional psychiatrists. I don’t think ignorance is ever in the best interests of good health.

Dr [Joanne] Moncrieff, also a London NHS psychiatrist, told psychminded.co.uk: “The psychiatric community still seem unworried by this [the possible effects on the brain of anti-psychotic medication] and continue to focus on the idea that schizophrenia is causing the brain damage.”

Psychiatry has been good at exploiting one theory at the expense of another, but I think ultimately the psychiatric community will have to take a good long hard look at the evidence. It may take a long time before they get around to the evidence though, and this is time some people can’t afford to have wasted, especially as it is tallied in brain mass.

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7 Responses

  1. The shrinks wouldn’t necessarily be fazed by proof that psych drugs cause brain damage. They regard their patients as lost causes anyway unless they are treated.

    • Many shrinks don’t seem to be interested in whether psychiatric drugs cause brain damage or not, and, of course, they should be. They pretend to be doctors, and they should hold their patient’s health interests to be a top priority, but in practice you’re dealing with the people who spend less time with their patients than anybody else on the unit. This is about a theory that gives shrinks clout in the world of medical science. If the patient has a ‘biologically determined’ ‘inherited’ ‘sickness’, it’s not a matter that can be dealt with at a social or environmental level. A doctor becomes, strictly speaking, a doctor. The problem here is we’re assuming psychiatrists know the source of ‘mental illness’, and if you read the texts they themselves have authored, well, they confess to not knowing the source of ‘mental illness’. If they can’t identify the source of ‘mental illness’, then we have just one theory vying with many other theories in its struggle for supremacy and acceptance. Give these other theories any weight, and biological medical model psychiatry is put back in the place where it should been in the first place. It’s just one more unproven theory among many others. Suggest that psychiatric drugs may cause the damage attributed to ‘the disease’, and you’re upsetting the proverbial apple cart.

  2. I can’t know what you do in the way of personal activism and I know that your posts and responses to comments are designed to elicit the interest and possible alliance of the unknown reader. And that’s fine.

    I concentrate at the coal face. The very point at which the deception clinically begins as far as the ignorant patient is concerned. I am more interested in the lies that are told directly to the patient and people who for better or worse are relatives and supposed friends of the patient. And I’m interested in the fact that patients and their supposed carers are also likely to be recruited from the gullible general public or else to some extent vulnerable to the suggestions and lies of the psychs since they are in fact in a difficult situation.

    I’m less interested in the fact that a psychiatrists might get busted for being serial killers or embezzlers than I am in the fact that psychiatrists routinely lie in their own workplace and that they learn to do so to the extent that they appear to be oblivious to the sight of their own routine acts of stupidity.

    • Patients are recruited from the gullible general public, etc, yes, in many cases, when they aren’t abducted by family members, neighbors, schools, policemen, court systems, and hospital staff. Not all people were seduced into treatment, some of them were assaulted into treatment. I’m just amazed at the number of them who say that doing so in a free and democratic society is Okay. As far as I’m concerned it is not Okay, and it will never be Okay.

      You have people who want treatment, but you also have people who don’t want treatment, and who say no to treatment. These people should have the right not to be treated. In our society people don’t have that right by law, and yet they do have that right, by law. What I’m saying here is that mental health law is a violation of constitutional law. I don’t care so much about people who want treatment. Let ’em have it. Treatment just shouldn’t be forced on those who neither need nor want it. Ever. If a law is violated, let the criminal justice system deal with it. If no law is violated, leave people alone.

      Now what you say about psychiatrists here I imagine could be said about many professionals. There are absurd professions and there are absurd professionals in the world, and few of them are more absurd than psychiatry. I feel that as far as mental health treatment and psychiatry is concerned, less is more. More and more spells exactly what we’ve got…a man made epidemic of so called ‘mental illness’.

  3. And the lies that are recorded into the patients records. I’ve witnessed it as routine as an RN working in psych and I can demonstrate it to any one who cares to read my own records. I can demonstrate it to anyone who has the guts to obtain their own records.

    • Been there, done that. If it’s not one diagnostic tag, it must be another, or another, or another. In psychiatry misdiagnosis seems to mean wrong disease, and never no disease. Well, we know of innocent men who were doing time for crimes they didn’t commit. Where are the psychiatric survivors who were hospitalized for diseases they didn’t have? Actually, they’re here, there, and the other place. You don’t attach these labels to human beings by having a high regard for the truth. Human beings behaving as human beings will can get human beings in a whole lot of hot water. On the upside, wisdom can come with time, experience and, as they say, an apple a day.

  4. I don’t want to rattle on but I want to make it clear that when I say lies, I’m not just talking about false diagnoses. I’m talking about blatant misrepresentation of facts. Of the blatant embellishment of secondhand and thirdhand hearsay. The deliberate misquoting of things a patient says and the deliberate misreporting of the things a person does even while in the hospital.

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