Applied Paper

1101 words - 5 pages

It was believed a seizure in the brain caused by the electric current would stimulate the release of neurotransmitters, and would allow the brain to reorganize to function correctly (Nasar). Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that transmit signals that facilitate cell to cell communication throughout the nervous system, and play a key component in the biological paradigm for treatment of schizophrenia. At this early stage of understanding schizophrenia’s pathology, it was believed these chemicals were imbalanced and shocking the brain would force a rebalance of these vital chemicals. Once rebalanced, it was hypothesized the patient would no longer suffer from schizophrenia (Tharyan, 2005). The insight into treating neurotransmitter imbalances in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia began the treatment path to present day antipsychotic pharmaceutical drug therapy. While the actual effects of electroshock therapy on patients with schizophrenia are unclear, it is still used today to treat schizophrenic patients who are resistant to pharmaceutical drug therapy. Electroshock therapy was the utilization of insulin coma therapy and electroshock therapy to treat schizophrenia were successful partly due to the required hospital admittance and doctor administered methodology. In both treatments the patients were required to be admitted into a hospital and were not responsible for administering the treatment themselves. While both treatment methods were viewed as inhumane and morbid, electroconvulsive therapy was the favored treatment over insulin shock therapy. Insulin shock therapy was very unscientific and administered without full understanding of the etiology of schizophrenia (Nasar, 1998). It was more dangerous and expensive than electroconvulsive therapy, and was concluded not cost-effective based on the cost of insulin, the risk and the investment of doctors and nurses time (Nasar, 1998). In 1950, treatment of schizophrenia through insulin coma therapy was completely phased out due to the introduction of antipsychotic pharmaceutical treatment and inconsistent and inconclusive clinical trial results. Even though insulin shock therapy treatment was not proven definitively less effective than the pharmaceutical treatments that followed, however, the introduction of a less-evasive, less-costly, and more scientific and humane therapy directed the progression in schizophrenia treatment.
The most common treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic pharmaceutical drug medication. As this mental disorder is considered to be the by-product of genetically determined neurochemical imbalances, the biological paradigm is the appropriate paradigm for discussing schizophrenia treatment (Bemak & Epp, 2002). Despite the advancement in pharmaceutical treatment to address the symptoms of schizophrenia, the molecular physiology of schizophrenia is still not entirely understood. While cautious of over-simplifying schizophrenia to complications in one...

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