Psychological

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Psychological

Antidepressant
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CATALYST CONC. Dissolver
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Combats ADHD
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Treats Bipolar Disorder
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Treats Schizophrenia
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Cures Alzheimer's
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Outside the game[edit | edit source]

Antidepressant[edit | edit source]

Major depressive disorders include many subtypes, most of which are treated through the use of antidepressant medications. Depression can come from many sources, most of which are centered on changes in body chemistry. Neuroscience findings in the 1990s and 2000s indicated long-term depression is caused chiefly by neurochemical imbalance, a premise upheld by subsequent research. Consequently, most front-line antidepressants work by reducing the reuptake of key neurotransmitters, boosting their levels in the brain. Current front-line antidepressants reduce reuptake of serotonin and, less frequently, norepinephrine.

In addition to an antidepressant regimen, general recommendations include psychological therapy. Ongoing research has shown possible links that would indicate changes to diet and activity could also have positive effects in combating major depressive disorder, but such findings have not yet been scientifically verified.

Depression is a serious medical condition. If someone believes they may be depressed - or if they know someone who seems depressed - medical advice and attention should be sought as soon as possible. While treatment efficacy is still highly variable, it is far worse for depression to go untreated.

Learn more on Wikipedia or ICD sections F32 and F33

Combats ADHD[edit | edit source]

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Root causes are still under investigation, but findings thus far point to a genetic link in addition to possible environmental sources both in utero and possibly even after birth. Definitive causes have not yet been identified. Sufferers generally exhibit difficulty in maintaining focus and concentration, behavioral control, and tend to be excessively physically active. As such, ADHD sufferers find it difficult to "settle down" and often to focus on complex tasks. However, ADHD patients can be extremely intelligent and creative, and can frequently have productive and enjoyable lives aided by treatment regimens.

While often misidentified as an autism-spectrum disorder, ADHD is in fact entirely separate. Under the ICD-10 classification codes, ADHD is classed as a hyperkinetic disorder (section F90).

ADHD management medications have undergone substantial research since their widespread introduction in the 1960s with methylphenidate. Stimulants are often used to reduce symptoms, often indirectly reducing patient injuries by improving situational awareness and focus. Non-stimulant medications have been gaining traction in treatment methodology, with amphetamines and methylphenidate the front runners in current research, as active MRI scanning has shown both to reduce the malformed neural structures believed to contribute to the disease.

Learn more at Wikipedia or the ICD

Treats Bipolar Disorder[edit | edit source]

Characterized by mood swings and occasionally severe shifts in behavior, bipolar disorder is more commonly recognized by the public by its archaic name: manic depression. Sufferers of bipolar disorder shift between episodes of high-energy, euphoric, or irritable mood and episodes of severe depression, social withdrawal, hopelessness, and low energy. This dual nature can make diagnosis a challenge, and many persons with bipolar disorder are initially misdiagnosed as having a major depressive disorder.

Medications are used in tandem with psychotherapy to manage both the highs and lows of the disorder. The most effective current medication that aids in all phases of bipolar disorder is lithium carbonate. Lithium helps to normalize both manic and depressive episodes into a smoother mood curve. Anticonvulsants are also occasionally added to treat particularly severe manic or depressive tendencies; currently, sodium valproate is among the most commonly-prescribed anticonvulsants, having replaced the previous front-line medication, carbamazepine, in the 1990s.

Learn more at Wikipedia or the ICD

Treats Schizophrenia[edit | edit source]

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood psychological disorders, schizophrenia is a mental disorder wherein the sufferer exhibits unusual behavior and problems with reality perception. Unlike popular belief, schizophrenia is not and does not include multiple or "split" personalities; this is an entirely separate disorder called "dissociative identity disorder." Sufferers of schizophrenia frequently experience confused or disordered trains of thought, difficulty in discerning reality from imagined events or entities, auditory hallucination (hearing voices), and unusual or bizarre belief structures. Causes of schizophrenia are unclear, although there is strong evidence suggesting genetic predisposition is a serious contributor. Statistical evidence shows that substance abuse, including smoking (up to 90% of persons who develop schizophrenia are heavy smokers), also increases the risk of the disorder, as do psychological and environmental stressors.

In the past, sufferers of schizophrenia were frequently harshly discriminated against and mistreated. Involuntary commitment to sanitariums was commonplace, and treatment in such facilities was extremely variable and occasionally little more than human warehousing. In fact, a common word for chaos - bedlam - originates from London's Bethlem Royal Hospital, which held large numbers of psychological patients (including schizophrenics) who were so poorly treated that the hospital was shut down for its squalid conditions and patient mistreatment in 1634. Subsequent restructuring aimed at improving conditions were only marginally effective, as much of society adopted an "out of sight, out of mind" attitude toward the patients.

While medical science has uncovered better treatment plans and guidelines for schizophrenia, it remains an extremely difficult disorder to live with and treat. Current treatments for schizophrenia are difficult to manage and present significant issues themselves. Antipsychotic medications such as risperidone and clozapine are typically employed in a pharmacological regimen, but these medications have significant failure rates and side effects, including metabolic changes and immune disorders. Therapy is often employed in conjunction with medication. Even so, up to 85% of schizophrenics are believed to be unemployed due to their disease, and current statistical analysis shows that up to 40% of sufferers attempt suicide, with a 4.9% suicide rate, making it one of the deadliest disorders in terms of suicide.

Learn more at Wikipedia or the ICD

Cures Alzheimer's[edit | edit source]

Named for German pathopsychologist Alois Alzheimer who first described the disorder in 1906, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. Frequently called the "life stealer," AD is characterized by progressive loss of short- and long-term memory, cognitive skills, and ultimately personality. While the effects of the disorder are well documented, little consensus has been reached on its cause or causes, and no cures or effective treatments are currently known.

While several hypotheses are under consideration for the cause of AD, a commonly identified marker of the disease are neuritic plaques: deposits of amyloid beta peptides in the brain's grey matter. These plaques interfere with neuronal synapses, disrupting brain function. Individually, plaques are unlikely to cause significant effects, but as they proliferate throughout the brain, neurofunctionality degeneration becomes increasingly apparent. While neuritic plaques are extremely common (60% of persons aged 80 have detectable levels of neuritic plaques), the advancement from plaques to AD is not understood. Other causal hypotheses include genetic disorder (mutations of epsilon-4 allele, APP gene, PSEN1 gene or PSEN2 gene), hyperphosphorylated tau proteins, and/or reduced production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

In addition to memory and cognitive issues, sufferers also frequently develop mood shifts, labile affect disorder, and delusion. A particularly vexing result of the loss of cognitive function is anosognosia: the inability of the patient to understand what the disease is doing, how it is likely to progress, or even that they have a disease at all.

Presently, no cure or even effective treatments exist for AD. Medications which inhibit production of acetyl enzymes, particularly acetylcholinesterase, have been marginally effective in slowing disease progression. Most medications prescribed for AD sufferers provide symptomatic relief for the peripheral effects of the disease and not the disease itself.

Learn more at Wikipedia or the ICD

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