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Biomedical therapy

Biomedical therapy includes Psychopharmacology, Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT), and Psychosurgery.

 

Psychopharmacology involves the use of medication to treat disorders.  It is the most common form of biomedical therapy.  It is used for emotional, behavioral and mental disorders and benefits many patients.  Drug treatment is often combined with psychotherapy.

Physicians prescribe different drugs based on the nature of the problem and the patient's medical history.  Drug types include Antipsychotic drugs (such as Thorazine), Antianxiety drugs (Valium, alcohol), and Antidepressant Drugs (Tofranil, prozac, lithium).

 

Electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) is used only for cases of major depression, delusions and hallucinations, or life-threatening sleep and eating disorders that cannot be effectively treated with drugs. Modern methods of administering ECT employ low "doses" of electric shock to the brain along with sedatives and relaxants to minimize the unpleasantness to patients.  60-90% of ECT patients show rapid improvement.

 

Psychosurgery is a rare, last resort treatment when psychotherapy and psychopharmacology have failed.  This surgery consists of surgical destruction of neural pathways in the brain.  One example of this type of surgery is a cingulotomy, which involves severing the pathway from the frontal lobe to the basal ganglia regions, called the cingulate pathway, of the brain. 

 

 

 

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