Drugs therapies don’t cure mental disorder

One of the common criticisms made about the use of drugs to treat mental disorder is that they don’t act as a cure, they simply offer temporary relief from disabling symptoms. New research challenges this. Prof Shitij Kapur and his team at King’s College London (Vernon et al. 2012)┬áhave produced evidence that certain drugs change brain structure. In this study rats were given treatment with either lithium (used for bipolar disorder) or an antipsychotic for 6 weeks. Brain scans showed an increase in cortical grey matter for the lithium rats and a decrease for the antipsychotic rats. At present, however, the clinical significance of these changes is not clear.