1.Cite the readings and multimedia in the module to support your comments. In your own words describe what would happen in your brain from the neurobiological perspective if you were experiencing psychosis. How might you convey to a client what is happening in their brain when they experience psychosis? 2.Highlight and summarize at least two insights you have from the Preston and Bentley texts readings and the videos in the module. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/complete-index.shtml http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEnklxGAmak
From a neurobiological perspective, experiencing psychosis can have significant impacts on brain functionality. Psychosis refers to a mental state characterized by a loss of contact with reality, resulting in distorted perceptions, thoughts, and emotions (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2018). Various studies and sources in the module shed light on the neurobiological changes that occur during psychosis.
According to the NIMH (2018), psychosis is often associated with alterations in neurotransmitter levels, specifically dopamine and glutamate. Dopamine dysregulation has been linked to the positive symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions and hallucinations (Howes & Kapur, 2009). The overactivation of dopamine receptors in certain areas of the brain, such as the mesolimbic pathway, can lead to an excessive release of dopamine and contribute to these symptoms (NIMH, 2018). The role of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter, is also implicated in psychosis. Dysfunction in glutamatergic transmission, particularly in the prefrontal cortex, is thought to be involved in cognitive deficits observed in individuals with psychosis (Javitt, 2010).
Furthermore, structural and functional abnormalities in the brain have been observed in individuals with psychosis. Magnetic resonance imaging studies have revealed changes in gray matter volume, particularly in regions associated with language processing, emotion regulation, and executive functions (NIMH, 2018). These structural alterations may contribute to impairments in cognitive processing and emotional regulation often observed in individuals with psychosis (Howes & Murray, 2014).
To convey what is happening in the brain during psychosis to a client, it is important to use clear and accessible language while also staying true to the neurobiological facts. One approach could be to explain to the client that their brain is experiencing changes in neurotransmitter levels, specifically dopamine and glutamate. Informing them that these changes are associated with alterations in perception, thoughts, and emotions might help them understand that their experiences are a result of their brain functioning differently.
Additionally, providing examples or metaphors can be helpful in conveying complex neurobiological concepts to clients. For instance, one might explain the role of dopamine by comparing it to a chemical messenger in the brain that determines how we perceive the world. When the brain sends too much of this messenger, it can lead to distorted perceptions, such as seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Similarly, explaining the effect of glutamate on cognitive function in simple terms, such as comparing it to a conductor for information processing, may help the client grasp the link between altered neurotransmission and cognitive deficits.
In summary, experiencing psychosis entails significant neurobiological changes in the brain, including alterations in neurotransmitter levels, structural abnormalities, and functional impairments. These changes contribute to the characteristic symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive deficits. To convey these complex neurobiological concepts to clients, it is essential to use clear language and provide relatable examples or metaphors that help them understand the underlying biological processes contributing to their experiences.
The readings and multimedia in the module provide valuable insights into the understanding of psychosis from both clinical and research perspectives. Two key insights from the readings and videos are as follows:
1) Neurotransmitter dysregulation: The NIMH (2018) publication on mental health medications highlights the role of neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine and glutamate, in psychosis. This information offers insights into the neurochemical basis of positive symptoms like hallucinations and delusions, which are often experienced during psychosis. The dysregulation of dopamine and glutamate is associated with alterations in brain functioning, leading to the manifestation of psychosis. Understanding these neurotransmitter imbalances can guide treatment interventions aimed at restoring balance and alleviating symptoms.
2) Structural and functional brain abnormalities: The videos in the module provide a glimpse into the structural and functional abnormalities observed in individuals with psychosis. It is evident that structural changes in the brain, particularly in regions involved in cognitive processing and emotion regulation, contribute to the cognitive deficits and emotional dysregulation experienced by individuals with psychosis. These insights emphasize the importance of considering both biological and psychological factors in understanding and treating psychosis.
In conclusion, the neurobiological perspective of psychosis highlights the significant changes that occur in the brain, including neurotransmitter dysregulation and structural and functional abnormalities. This understanding can be used to convey to clients the underlying biological processes contributing to their experiences. The readings and multimedia in the module offer valuable insights into the neurochemical and structural aspects of psychosis, providing a foundation for further research and clinical interventions.