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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mental Heath Care Reform

I want to bring to attention the need for this to be an issue in the 2008 elections. As a Psychology Major at the University of Iowa, with an expected graduation date for a BS in December 2007, I am very aware of the need for change and informing the public of certain things.

The Statement “Mental Illness is a Chemical Imbalance in the Brain” is only a theory. This is not a proven fact. Research has shown that it is likely to be the cause of mental conditions. However, the potential exists for this to be disproved.

The majority of research that supports this theory is drug studies. Drug studies, which are often funded by the drug companies. These studies show that there is a statistically significant improvement with persons with mental conditions while taking the drugs. “Statistically Significant” means that the chance of the improvement is caused by the drugs is greater than the improvement happening by chance alone.

Modern Technology in Brain Research canNOT analysis neurotransmitter functions in the live human brain. Neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, are studied in rat brains after death, more than in live rats. Current functional imaging in live human brains only measures Oxygen flow and sugar metabolism, or usage.

These are facts that I feel few people outside of Psychology are aware of. I am going to be working on a research paper, where I will be analyzing studies that have already been done. I hope to have it completed by late 2007. I plan on writing this paper in a manor that persons who have little scientific background can easily understand.

Please feel free to see the following page from the FDA web site:

www.fda.gov/cder/drug/DrugSafety/Drugindex.htm

2 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is interesting. I think, though, that "nature v. nurture" is a false dichotomy. Environmental influences undoubtedly instigate/inhibit processes in the brain. I believe biologists are obsessed with genetics while ignoring one of the fundamental rules of biology, which is adaptation to the environment. We aren't programmed from birth; we are only given a basic template and our experiences from then on shape our brain and its processes and most likely, this process continues until our death, allowing us to continually adapt to our environment.

David Schantz said...

I'm happy to see you posted that FDA web site page. I think it is more proof that we are becoming a drugged society. BTW, my answer to my Question Of The Week was yes. I know several people that are taking antidepressants. They need to see that web page.

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