Schizophrenia is a serious and challenging psychiatric disorder to treat. SPRI Clinical Trials of Brooklyn is one of many institutions actively engaged in Schizophrenia Research Studies New York City. Schizophrenia drug research tends to focus on two main areas: a) finding a more effective drug than is already available to ameliorate the seminal behavioral symptoms of the disorder, and/or b) attempting to identify drugs with a more appealing safety profile that will not significantly jeopardize, patient health and well-being on the one hand, or patient compliance and overall treatment success on the other.
There are currently a large number of medications approved for the treatment of schizophrenia by the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA). In general, antipsychotic medications are categorized into one of two general classes: the first generation “conventional” or “typical” antipsychotic medications that were first introduced into mainstream medical practice in the 1950s, and a later, second generation of “a typical” antipsychotic agents which began appearing in the 1990s. The mechanism of action of the first generation (typical) antipsychotic medications was blockade of a specific subclass of dopaminergic receptors known as the D2 receptors within the brain. Drugs representative of this class of antipsychotic medications include most notably haliperidol (Haldol) and chlorpromazine (Thorazine or Largactil). The mechanism of action of the newer, second generation “a typical” antipsychotic agents is on multiple neurotransmitter systems in addition to the D2 receptor (e.g., serotonin, acetylcholine, noradrenalin and histamine). Drugs within this class include aripiprazole (Abilify), resperidone (Resperdol), clozapine (Clozaril), olanzapine (Zypreza), and ziprazidone (Geodon).
However, even with so many antipsychotic medications having been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, there are still many people who fail to achieve full amelioration of their symptoms or who experience side effects that they find unacceptable. As a result, some patients become discouraged and stop taking their medications – risking the return of their potentially dangerous or harmful behavioral symptomatology.
Among the main problems with the use of the first generation/typical antipsychotic agents is sedation and the risk following extended use of developing a permanent syndrome of extra pyramidal Parkinsonian – like tremors and rigidity referred to as Tardive Dyskinesia. Side effects associated with the use of the newer, a typical antipsychotic agents include, in addition to the movement side effect, new-onset type-2 diabetes mellitus, weight gain, hyperlipidemia, and sexual and/or cardiac dysfunction. These additional side effects are due to the contribution of the effects the newer a typical antipsychotic agents have on the other neurotransmitter targets that these drugs are designed to interact with. To this end, it is, for example, a potential reduction in the degree of weight gain associated with a particular antipsychotic medication use that SPRI is in the process of evaluating.
Understandably, some people may elect not to take their antipsychotic medications as prescribed or decide to not take them at all because they do not want to experience one or more of these unwanted side effects. However, serious consideration must be given by the patient to the risks vs. benefits of taking the medication(s) prescribed by their physician or mental health professional or suffer the risk of deteriorating behavioral symptomatology, as well as carry-over effects on workplace performance, social and family relationships.
To learn more about the types of Schizophrenia Research Studies New York City that are currently being undertaken, as well as the risk and benefits of participating in a clinical research study, consult with your healthcare professional and/or search the web to see what’s being done in your locale. Remember, it is not necessary to suffer alone. Ask questions, seek help and get the care you need to lead a productive fulfilling life.