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Antipsychotic

Do Antipsychotics Work by Affecting Gene Function in Bipolar?

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered that antipsychotics may work, at least in part, by restoring normal gene function in people with bipolar disorder. (Chen, H., Wang, N., Zhao, X., Ross, C. A., O’Shea, K. S. and McInnis, M. G. (2013), "Gene expression alterations in bipolar disorder postmortem brains." Bipolar Disorders, 15: 177–187. doi: )

The research team did post-mortem (after death) examinations on the brains of three groups of people:

People with bipolar disorder...
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Evidence for Abilify (Aripiprazole) in Maintenance of Bipolar Disorder Questioned

Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication commonly used to treat schizophrenia and acute mania. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder – to prevent the recurrence of mood episodes. Unfortunately, evidence proving the effectiveness of Abilify as a maintenance medication for bipolar disorder is scarce and questionable.

Exposing the Truth


An article published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine (Tsai et al) looks critically at the scientific evidence that...
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Antipsychotic

Long-Term Antipsychotic Use May Reduce Brain Volume

Until recently, doctors and researchers had believed that brain volume loss in schizophrenia was caused primarily by the disease itself. One recent study, however, questions this long-held belief and identifies antipsychotics, the medications most commonly used to treat schizophrenia, as the more likely culprits.

With the increased long-term use of antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness, especially bipolar mania, it's important to determine whether...
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Antipsychotic

FDA Update on the Use of Antipsychotics During Pregnancy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing healthcare professionals that it has updated the Pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of antipsychotic drugs. The new drug labels now contain more and consistent information about the potential risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs or EPS) and withdrawal symptoms in newborns whose mothers were treated with these drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy.
For details,...
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Bipolar Disorder Medication Spotlight: Seroquel (Quetiapine)

With this post, we continue our biweekly series on medications used to treat bipolar disorder and related symptoms. Over the past couple weeks, we covered two commonly used atypical antipsychotics – Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Risperdal (risperidone). Because the Zyprexa post contains a great deal of information that applies to the atypical antipsychotics as a group, we encourage you to read it first.
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