Treatments for Bipolar and Schizophrenic Issues

Bipolar-SchizophrenicWe see many clients diagnosed as bipolar or schizophrenic. Some were previously diagnosed ADHD or even autistic. They’ve gone from doctor to doctor gathering many different diagnoses and medications.

In our experience, many times these individuals have other issues that are actually masking as symptoms for bipolar or schizophrenia. Food sensitivies, heavy metals, toxins, hormonal and thyroid issues, sensory integration disorders to name a few. These individuals have usually been on a selection of pharmaceuticals trying to get the symptoms under control. The problem is, medication doesn’t typically address the root cause. In fact, many times the pharmaceuticals make things worse. Read the following article for more information on antipsychotic medications.

Drug prescription bonanza for kids’ psychotic drugs
April 13, 2009

The Los Angeles Times reports that although “children are most likely to suffer severe weight gain and metabolic disturbances” from a “new generation of antipsychotic medication” called atypical antipsychotics, “the use of these drugs to treat children has seen steady, steep growth.” To date, “only risperidone (marketed as Risperdal) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by children diagnosed with schizophrenia,” so “virtually all of that prescribing has been off-label.”

This new generation of antipsychotic medications – Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Geodon, Clozaril and Risperdal – are called “atypicals” because they work differently than the earlier generation of antipsychotic drugs. To date, only Abilify had been granted the legal right to market to a vast new population of patients beyond those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. This week, an FDA advisory panel recommended that the same expanded rights should be give to a second atypical antipsychotic drug, Seroquel XR.

Mounting research has made clear that atypical antipsychotics are not only less safe than originally thought; they are not, on balance, any safer or more effective than older medications for schizophrenia. Furthermore, among the population of depressed or anxious patients that some are now proposed to treat, studies suggest the benefits are extremely modest. The FDA finally voiced concerns but experts said it too late, physicians have already been marketed to use atypical antipsychotics to treat mental disorders far less severe than schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The spreading use of these costly drugs is rising. The rates and the risks of weight gain, diabetes, strokes, fatal heart attacks, an array of movement disorders and potentially, suicide, according to a wide range of critics.

“This is very worrisome; frankly I have serious concerns about these drugs,” says Dr. Steven Nissen, who is chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s cardiovascular medicine department and serves as an ad hoc advisor for FDA panels. Studies point to a “very questionable balance between efficacy and safety” for the class, he said. But that message, he said, has been lost in an apparent “marketing bonanza” for the companies that make the medications. A recent report by the consulting firm Decision Resources found the makers of the atypicals spent $993 million in 2006 to promote the drugs to doctors and patients.

What Causes Bipolar?
For mental, emotional and environmental issues, stressful life events are thought to be the main element in the development of bipolar disorder. These can range from a death in the family to the loss of a job, from the birth of a child to a move. It can be pretty much anything, but it cannot be precisely defined, since one person’s stress may be another person’s piece of cake.

With that in mind, research has found that stressful life events can lead to the onset of symptoms in bipolar disorder. However, once the disorder is triggered and progresses, “it seems to develop a life of its own.” Once the cycle begins, psychological and/or biological processes take over and keep the illness active.

Researchers have identified specific areas of the brain that are affected: the frontal and temporal lobes of the forebrain, thr prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and parts of the limbic system. The hippocampus may also play a role in bipolar disorder. Brain imaging studies have recently demonstarted neuroanatomical basis to bipolr disorder.

What causes Schizophrenia?
Stress imposed by life events or family circumstances appears to be an important external event associated with schizophrenia. The onset of illness is often associated with a distressful period in life and it may be that stress can trigger the onset of illness in those people with a genetic predisposition to the disease.

The areas of the brain identified as being affected by schizophrenia are: the frontal lobe, temporal lobe and limbic system. The cerebellum is also thought to be affected by schizophrenia. Neurotransmitter imbalance is also implicated in schizophrenia.

How can BrainAdvantage help?
At BrainAdvantage we know the connection that exists between the limbic system (emotional center of the brain) and the Frontal Cortex can be trained with our system. We train to calm this area and help the brain reach homeostasis. The BrainAdvantage program helps the Bipolar or Schizophrenic sufferer to normalize brain function, thus controlling the symptoms. These disorders typically activate the frequency brainwaves associated with depression, anxiety or anger. These associated emotions activate profound sensory-motor and autonomic system dysregulation. BrainAdvantage neurotherapy may be able to reduce these autonomic arousal patterns. BrainAdvantage can lead to a more calm, reflective and healthy rational response.


For more information see our Research Page