I looked at some studies about brain tissue loss in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a debilitating thought disorder. People who are diagnosed with it have delusions and hallucinations. I thought maybe the studies that conclude that this loss of tissue is caused by the illness itself are funded by the drug companies. I found one that was, but the ones that find tissue loss before onset of the illness are funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and academic institutions. A University of Edinburgh study examined people at high risk of schizophrenia who had close relatives with the disorder and who were between 16 and 25 at the beginning of the study. Researchers performed MRIs every eighteen months for ten years. They found shrinkage occurs before the onset of schizophrenia and before the subjects took medication. The studies that conclude antipsychotic drugs cause a loss in brain volume compare healthy controls with people who have already have the illness. A researcher named Nancy C. Andreasen doesn’t give healthy controls antipsychotics (which would be unethical) so I still don’t know if antipsychotics shrink the brain or if the disease does. How can we know? The study that psychiatric survivor groups cite has been going on since 1989. Second generation antipsychotics came along in the 1990s. Which drugs are they talking about? They don’t say. Do Andreasen et al compare medicated schizophrenics with schizophrenics who never took medication? I found some studies that conclude that there is tissue loss with the first generation antipsychotics. Haldol is a big culprit in tissue loss in these studies, but I don’t think the studies that compare Haldol to second generation antipsychotics are funded by the drug companies because phase three FDA trials only require the drug companies to compare their drug to placebo. The drug companies don’t want to take the chance of having a generic drug work better than their own drug. And why do antipsychiatry groups focus on the work of one researcher and not others? They cherry pick which studies support their agenda. It was difficult for me to find another study corroborating Andreasen’s findings. Many news organizations ran articles on Andreasen’s research without considering other studies with different results.
Oh, and another thing. My verbal score on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale jumped 13 points after I started taking antipsychotics so I’m going to continue taking them.