Technological Advances in Psychology



In the field of psychology, over the past few decades there have been several vast advancements. In regards to the curing and treating of psychological disorders, new methods have been obtained and are presently utilized on both group and individual bases. A majority of the most recent developments tie in with present-day technology. Amongst these forms of treatment include:
· Pharmacotherapy: The use of medication and over-the-counter drugs to treat brain-related diseases. This form of treatment reduces symptoms but does not cure. Some examples of this include Thorazine, Haldol, and Clorazil. This technique is frequently used for those that suffer from schizophrenia.
· Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT): An elective procedure used in private hospitals. This form of treatment, when used in the 1980s was both involuntary and had negative results. Presently, this is used on diagnosed suicidal depressants and is refractory to medications. Statistics show that 1/3 of this process cures, 1/3 improves but eventually relapses, and the final 1/3 has no benefits whatsoever.
· Lobotomy: This process is a form of psychosurgery that destroys tissue in the frontal lobes and connections to subcortical tissues. This method is used prior to medications and is utilized upon those who suffer from lack of impulse control.
· Hospitilization: This process is used to stabilize those suffering from symptoms and is used to draw conclusions from various diagnosis and testing. Eventually, this form of treatment will lead up to other recommended treatments and procedures. Court hearings are usually the determiners of how long the patient stay is.
Other treatments include various forms of therapy including object-relations, group counseling, and psychoanalysis. These forms are divided between behavioral, cognitive, humanist, sociocultural, and eclectic. The duration of these methods are usually anywhere from one week to several years.

These treatments lack an obvious connection between modern technology and this specific medical field. One of the most recent advancements is entitled gene therapy and replacement. This form of treatment ties in directly with many different forms of technology. A synopsis of this treatment includes the targeting of a patient's damaged neurons or other brain-related problems that cause the given disease. Once targeted, scientists will then attempt to interrupt apoptosis, a process by which cells die, or become damaged. If interrupted, this would then aid in healing the general vicinity of the brain that has been harmed. Other forms of gene therapy include the addition of specific DNA strands to strengthen the brain. These involve technology that can pinpoint exact locations of extremely microscopic cells. According to Dr. Schulz,
"For slowly progressing neurodegenerative diseases…gene transfer methods that can target specific neuronal populations may be superior to systemic treatment and should be developed since they may prevent unwanted side effects of caspase inhibition."