Joanna Moncrieff revisits a very important issue…one of which has been discussed on Beyond Meds many times. I like to remind people that “antipsychotics” are really misnamed. They are a class of drugs called neuroleptics and quite often do not do anything at all to mitigate psychosis. They are major tranquilizers and neurotoxic drugs that harm and use should be minimized as much as possible.
Evidence that antipsychotics cause brain shrinkage has been accumulating over the last few yearsbut the psychiatric research establishment is finding its own results difficult to swallow. A new paper by a group of American researchers once again tries to ‘blame the disease,’ a time honoured tactic for diverting attention from the nasty and dangerous effects of some psychiatric treatments. In 2011, these researchers, led by the former editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Nancy Andreasen, reported follow up data for their study of 211 patients diagnosed for the first time with an episode of ‘schizophrenia’. They found a strong correlation between the level of antipsychotic treatment someone had taken over the course of the follow up period, and the amount of shrinkage of brain matter as measured by repeated MRI scans. The group concluded that “antipsychotics have a subtle but measurable influence on brain tissue loss” (1). (read the rest)
Brain shrinkage or not, it’s clear that psych drugs, in general, can negatively impact the brain in numerous ways
More on Beyond Meds about psych drugs and brain injury of various kinds:
Don’t despair — we can heal: Neuroplasticity: enormous implications for anyone who has been labeled with a psychiatric illness
Please do not attempt to discontinue psych drugs without first very carefully educating yourself on the risks involved so that you might minimize the chances of developing grave iatrogenic illness if you decide to withdraw: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up