No Biological Basis for Mental Illness?

  • by: |
  • 12/21/2006
The rapid scientific movement towards a biomarker for AD reminds me of what some in the anti-psychiatry movement -- those who would discourage and destroy efforts to screen our young for mental illness -- state when they assert " that what is called mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, and other anxiety problems are caused by a “chemical imbalance” in the brain -- of unknown origin – is an unproven hypothesis and little more than mere conjecture. .... There is no way that we can quantitatively measure the serotonin (or any other neurotransmitter) level in a living human’s brain. Hence there can be no benchmark correct balance.


I guess all of the following are just PR efforts by BIG PHARMA

Genetics of emotional regulation: the role of the serotonin transporter in neural function. Trends Cogn Sci. 2006 Apr;10(4):182-91. Epub 2006 Mar 10

Imaging genetics: perspectives from studies of genetically driven variation in serotonin function and corticolimbic affective processing. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 May 15;59(10):888-97. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Functional neuroimaging of genetic variation in serotonergic neurotransmission. Genes Brain Behav. 2003 Dec;2(6):341-9.

I could go on and on....but the point is the attack on Zyprexa, SSRIs or other medicines is based on a belief, a fervent one, that medicine is not necessary, that it only the perfect capitalist instrument, a form of control that keeps the consumer permanmently compliant. I am not entering the Mothership for that discussion. By the same token, while people are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to bully, threaten or intimidate me or anyone else.

Though diagnosis is not perfect, marketing is often mangled and manipulative, and medicines do have risks to describe medication as "drugging" and claiming schizophrenia is not a true disorder discourages effective treatment.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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