Schizophrenia - Typical and Atypical Drugs
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the differences between typical and atypical drugs that are used to treat schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are treated principally by a class of medications called anti-psychotic drugs. These medications act principally by blocking the stimulation of dopamine receptors by the neurotransmitter dopamine. There are two main classes of anti-psychotic drugs. One is called the first generation, or typical, or conventional anti-psychotic drugs, and the second is called the second generation or atypical anti-psychotic drugs. The difference between these two, even though they both have similar properties and act as anti-psychotics, is that the newer medicines do not produce the disabling neurologic side-effects like stiffness, and slowness and tremor that the first generation drugs produced. In addition, they have a much lower affinity for dopamine receptors so they're kinder, gentler pharmacological agents as opposed to the very potent high-affinity dopamine receptor antagonist that the first generations are. And then thirdly, they may be a little better in some ways terms of their therapeutic efficacy. They alleviate symptoms better, they prevent relapse, and they may work on a broader range of the symptoms of schizophrenia.
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Professor David Lewis explains that many schizophrenic individuals respond well to anti-psychotic medication. Treatment for other symptoms is developing.
Professor David Lewis explains the difference between first and second generation drug treatments for schizophrenia.
Professor David Lewis explains that positive symptoms of schizophrenia are currently more treatable than the negative symptoms.
Many psychiatrists are now prescribing second-generation or 'atypical' antipsychotics.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the dopamine hypothesis, the predominant neurochemical theory of schizophrenia.
Professor Jeffrey Lieberman discusses the serotonin hypothesis of schizophrenia. Drugs such as LSD and ecstasy block serotonin and produce schizophrenia-like symptoms.
Doctor Ellen Leibenluft discusses biochemical treatments for biploar disorder, including pescriptions of lithium and Valproate, which target second-messenger systems.
Professor James Watson explains that although bipolar disorder and schizophrenia share some symptoms, they have a different impact on lifestyle.
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses genetic testing, the need to identify disorders early, and the importance of preemptive intervention.
In this review of schizophrenia, the authors show how our growing knowledge of causal factors offers hope for successful preventive measures.