Yes, psych meds DO shrink brains

And here the woman who studies this is interviewed. The choice bit is here:

Q. AND WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND?

A. I haven’t published this yet. But I have spoken about it in public lectures. The big finding is that people with schizophrenia are losing brain tissue at a more rapid rate than healthy people of comparable age. Some are losing as much as 1 percent per year. That’s an awful lot over an 18-year period. And then we’re trying to figure out why. Another thing we’ve discovered is that the more drugs you’ve been given, the more brain tissue you lose.

Q. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS HAPPENING?

A. Well, what exactly do these drugs do? They block basal ganglia activity. The prefrontal cortex doesn’t get the input it needs and is being shut down by drugs. That reduces the psychotic symptoms. It also causes the prefrontal cortex to slowly atrophy. (read the rest here)

Now this woman is still a traditional psychiatrist and so still supports the use of these drugs, but this is hardcore evidence of brain damage caused by neuroleptics or antipsychotics any way you want to look at it.

And the fact is, if you’re new to this blog, there are alternatives to meds. They just don’t get pharma funding. Visit my about page and recovery pages to start learning about alternative perspectives.

More here:  ●   Antipsychotics shrink the brain   ●  This is a brain injury situation

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

16 Responses

  1. Laura Borst

    These drugs are about suppressing and controlling people, rather than healing them. Many of the disabling aspects of these drugs are permanent. The suppressive effects of these drugs often are related to the damaging effects.

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  2. Thanks Gianna.

    NIH handed Dr Andreasen $38 Million over 15 years to Photograph that evidence. I know because I went to the NIH page and looked it up, year by year.

    That NIH page is at: http://report.nih.gov/award/State/state.cfm

    The NIH reports aren’t easy to digest. Copy & Paste the NIH page into a word Doc & then use the Find Function to Key on the Principle Investigators name.

    Dr Andreasen Sat on those $38 Million Dollar Brain Tissue Losing Photos for 2 years, just to make Certain she was Certain. Dr Andreasen has also claimed that she does “Almost Nothing with Drug Companies” while she is (or was) listed on an AZ site chairing a panel handing out $45K awards to Young Investigators.

    Dr Andreasen was the Chair Dr on the last DSM panel Defining Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders: IE: the Schiz Pills Sales Team.

    I suggest everyone here pick out their own favorite Junk Science Researcher and find out how much NIH money is being wasted on other Psych Med FDA Safe & Effective BS, add it up, and Blog it, ……. ’cause there Ain’t no way this National Brain Wreck is going to get derailed Otherwise.

    Sen Grassley has the Entire Fed Money Pile to oversee. He can’t clean up Pharma on his own. Pitch in and give him a hand.

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  3. Thank you so much for posting that! I consider those quotes to be some of the most important things I’ve ever read in NY Times. I’ve known about the damage caused, and that could have been me — I was forcibly drugged 30 years ago and told I had to stay on forever. I’ve known about the brain damage issue, but it is seldom discussed or noticed.

    This is the ‘inconvenient truth’ of the psychiatric system.

    We’re pro-choice about individual difficult health decisions to take or not take prescribed psychiatric drugs… but the lack of information, the myths, the denial of alternatives are all COERCING people to take these.

    Those interested in the brain damage by neuroleptics (also called anti-psychotics) can google these three words:

    MindFreedom Brain Damage

    You’ll get link to a folder with lots of resources.

    Also we recommend Grace Jackson’s material!

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  4. I suspected this Gianna. Thanks for sharing. When I was hospitalised and being prepared for ECT they found I had a cerebral insult (lesion) which the doctors said could be the medication or stress. I say the former. When you think of what else the meds did to me, cataracts, liver damage it all fits into place

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  5. Legan

    This is disturbing on so many levels, but we must remember that the brain is plastic and can compensate for damage…Is there anyone out there imaging the before and after damage? Following up five years later? Is there a way to do this? Will anyone do this? I wonder…not condoning the doling out of chemical lobotomies in the least, but simply pointing out that the brain is a resilient organ. I have taken a neuroleptic short term and found it to be utterly apocalyptic in regards to thought processes…cannot imagine how it must feel to be on these things long term, though I am close with a few people who are.

    Gianna, your post on Grace Jackson’s book is chilling in this regard. I bought her first book yesterday from Amazon…the one you posted is not available yet?

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  6. Darby

    I thnk I’ve read something months or maybe even years ago where Nancy Andreason said pretty much the same thing about her findings and not publishing them. To say that this behavior is the height of irresponsibility is an understaement. Our taxes paid for this reserach and we have the right to demand it be published and that the government act on these findings!

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  7. Hi Gianna,

    I see where David Oaks has recommended a couple of sites where you can get good information on the harm that is done by neuroleptic drugs and their relative ineffective. Another terrific source of information with lots of citations is at http://www.psychrights.org. On the home page there is a blue highlighted document entitled “Clickable Whitaker Affidavit” or something like that. If you click on it you will get Robert Whitaker’s affidavit in one of Jim Gottstein’s cases. It is a very clear, concise indigtment of psychotropic drugs and includes the wonderful feature of being able to click on the citations and bring up the articles on your screen.

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  8. pinky

    actually, scientists have known for years and years that brain atrophy tends to occur in people with schizophrenia- even those who are unmedicated. Also, there are already a lot of studies on whether neuroleptics contribute to brain changes/atrophy- it’s not like scientists have refused to consider this idea or something. Some studies say yes, others say no. If you want to go to an antipsychiatry website that only cites information that support its own opinions, that’s your decision, but it’s not the only side of the issue.

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  9. Pinky: As Gianna says, Nancy Andreasen is in the group of the fiercest proponents of medical “treatment” for crisis. That’s why she held back the information for so long. Afraid that people might stop their “meds”. And probably only releasing it, eventually, because a different type of drugs, like Eli Lilly’s so far failed glutamate antagonist, was/is in the pipeline.

    Furthermore, if you check out the research concerning “schizophrenia” and brain atrophy, you’ll find that the “study objects” for studies concluding “schizophrenia” to cause brain atrophy mostly are recruited among people, who are in the mh system, compliantly swallowing their daily poison, and having been doing so for who knows how long a time previous to their participation in the study…

    Even if you can find single individuals among the non-compliant, who show signs of brain atrophy: trauma like that which results in “schizophrenia” puts a person in a continuous high-level stress position starting in very early childhood. At one point or another this kind of ongoing high-level stress may very well take its toll on the brain. That doesn’t justify the drugging of the traumatized person with additionally brain-damaging substances, while the stress continues underneath the drug-induced apathy. It only calls for solutions, that remove the stress from the person’s environment, so that the person can heal. That’s why “alternatives” that help people to become conscious of what stresses them, and work it through, that’s why sometimes even the “geographical cure” do work.

    Finally, and this is “anecdotal” you might say, nevertheless it’s a fact, most of the people I know who are on drugs show more or less significant signs of cognitive impairment. Among those who don’t take psych drugs it’s only the ones who are currently going through an acute crisis, or who have been taking drugs for many years previous to coming off, who show these signs. So, even if stress can cause brain atrophy, it’s nothing compared to the damage the drugs cause.

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  10. Pinky “it’s not like scientists have refused to consider this idea or something.”
    Yes they have.
    The scientists ignore the Schizophrenics of the past to focus on the Big Pharma solution of a magical pill.
    http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb00/schizophrenia.html
    “American Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 144, No. 6, p. 718-735) showed that 62 percent to 68 percent of those former back ward patients showed no signs at all of schizophrenia.”

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  11. John

    I am agree whith that ideas. It is what i think before read this. I take Risperdal for 5 months 2 years ago, and for my own experience I arrived to this same conclusions.

    I think that my brain was more damaged for that drug that for the initial problem i have. After 5 months I stopped of taking that pills for myself and the doctor was agree, then he reciped me an antidepresive that i take for other 5 months to treat the depresion caused by the antipsicotic.

    I realized of that vicious circle even been in less skizofrenic trastorn and neuroleptized and my family and the doctor insisting to contiune the medication. If i didn’t take that decision for myself i will never returned to the normality and i will be trapped in a spiral of neuroleptic-antidepresive-neurolepic treatment. I think this is not the way to treat that problems fist destroyng everithing whith the neuroleptic and then some antidepresive to try repair something? It is logic that it will causes a lot of problems that can’t be trated whith this same medication. ??? I often think that a treatment whith neuroleptics is enough reason to become skizofrenic.

    After 2 years i am still some “risperdalded”. I am 30 years old now. I dont know if it is reversible and what can help me to recover the aptitudes I had. Someone knows here and can say me anything about?

    Sorry for my poor languange. This is because i am not english, not for brain damage. Thanks.

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