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Biological Approach Essay

989 words - 4 pages

Biological Approach
All behaviours are caused by both biological and genetic influences such as hormones, the structure of the brain, neurotransmitters and genetics. Testosterone (a hormone that can affect a male’s behaviour in increased amounts) has been found to be linked to aggression. Hormones can also affect a female’s behaviour during the menopause as oestrogen levels will significantly decrease. A lack of oestrogen in women is linked to depression in women. An example of the structure of the brain having an impact on the person’s behaviour would be a person who suffers from schizophrenia. In post-mortem examinations of schizophrenic patients, it is found that the ventricles in their ...view middle of the document...

Drugs / Neurotransmitters
The first treatment I will talk about is drugs. Neurotransmitters in the body help the messages from your brain jump the gap between your nerve cells (synapses) to travel where they need to get to. A few mental disturbances, such as schizophrenia, are linked to either too many drugs or too little of the neurotransmitter. Drugs can alter neurotransmitter levels in the brain. For example, drugs for depression stop the re-uptake of serotonin. Drugs for schizophrenia reduce the effects of dopamine by blocking dopamine receptor pathways. An inactive treatment such as a sugar pill, known as a placebo, has also shown some improvement in patients. The strengths of using drug therapies are that they are easy and require little effort from the patient, they can relieve some of the disabling symptoms, they are effective when used with psychological therapies, they give significant relief to many patients and they have led to a large decrease in the number of people in psychiatric wards. On the other hand, the weakness of drug treatments is that they can lead to problems such as addiction and tolerance and they also usually come with side effects.

Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT)
The next treatment I am going to evaluate is electro convulsive therapy. ECT is used when drugs fail to treat depressive disorders. Approximately 22,000 receive ECT per year in the UK alone. When prescribed ECT, the patient is given a muscle relaxant and is put under general anaesthetic. Then a 110mv shock is given to the brain which usually causes seizures for up to 2 minutes. A few minutes after treatments, the patient regains consciousness. Many patients report patchy but persistent memory loss just before and during the treatment. There is no solid evidence of long-term memory loss problems after electro convulsive therapy but many patients experience confusion on waking up from the anaesthetic, but this usually clears within a few hours. A strength of using...

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