Olanzapine: Are the Side Effects Worth the Risk?

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As can be seen in the next figure, the prefrontal cortex is intertwined with the entire

brain’s operations and therefore the whole body. The red/pink lines show the interaction of dopamine neurotransmitters and receptors and even though dopamine is not shown to connect directly to the prefrontal cortex, the anterior cingulated cortex and the hippocampus are directly connected and the prefrontal cortex is directly linked to these; therefore, to remove or reduce the dopamine alone could present some definite problems. The prefrontal cortex is thought to be responsible for ideas of self—who we are, what we want to do, and so forth or what is known as executive function. In the early to mid-twentieth century, doctors performed lobotomies on individuals with seizures and/or who had mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, with the idea that the symptoms that these individuals were experiencing would cease, or at the very least lessen, so that the patient could once more become a contributing member of society (Zillmer et al., 2008). A famous recipient of this procedure who met with less than glamorous results was Rosemary Kennedy ( sister to President John Kennedy) who had a prefrontal lobotomy at the age of 23, in order to calm her mood swings of which the real causes are still unknown, other than to attribute them to her suspected mental retardation. One of the problems with older typical antipsychotics was that they sometimes had the effect of chemical lobotomies in that patients still had their brains but the effects of the medications were that the patients became like zombies because entire sets of neurotransmitters had been dismantled or blocked. As can be seen in Figure 3, negating a neurotransmitter and its receptor...

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Zillmer, E. A., Spiers, M. V., & Culbertson, W. C. (2008). Principles of Neuropsychology (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson, Wadsworth.
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