More evidence that antipsychotics cause brains to shrink

This is all over the mental health and pharma internet in the last 24 hours.

Ron Unger at Recovery from “schizophrenia” and other “psychotic disorders” astutely entitles his piece, “They don’t want you to conclude that shrinking brains is a bad thing,” with this commentary (an excerpt):

The study, in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that over seven years “ More antipsychotic drug treatment, including duration and intensity, was linked to greater declines in brain volume. Severity of disease, alcohol and illegal drug use had no effect.”

Despite this seeming damming evidence, the lead researcher didn’t want to come off as critical of the medications, no doubt because he knows where most of the research money comes from, so he was careful to caution everyone not to “jump to the conclusion” that this was “bad.”

Well, when they find evidence that suggests that “schizophrenia” makes a brain shrink, they somehow never imagine that it might NOT be bad.  But here they found that severity of “disease” seemed to cause no shrinkage, and the medications did, and yet we shouldn’t “jump to the conclusion” that it is bad. read the rest

We should remember when we read this that antipsychotics are being used broadly for everything from sleeplessness to anxiety to depression these days. They’ve long been used in people diagnosed bipolar. They are also being used rampantly in young children sometimes even toddlers. These are most assuredly not safe drugs for a developing brain.

Bloomberg reports this story here.

Charles Whitfield MD reports that antipsychotics are the most toxic of the psychiatric drugs.

I’ve covered this phenomena of the shrinking brain before here and here.

Also my neuropsych doc has told me that what I’m dealing with in part is a sort of brain injury. I’d call shrinking brains an injury, wouldn’t you? Look here for more from the same doctor. Withdrawal brings about it’s own risks as the brain and body fight to readjust.

Remember it is not safe to discontinue any psychiatric drug precipitously. For those interested in safer withdrawal you can start here for information and additional resources.

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters