In 1977, Austrian pathologist Dr. Kurt Jellinger published not only some of the most important findings in human recipients of various antipsychotics [including Haldol] but also a key summary of findings from numerous non-human animal species. In all cases (rabbits, guinea pigs, monkeys) therapeutically relevant doses of antipsychotic drugs delivered over a period of 12 days to 12 months resulted in diffuse damage throughout the brain.
Most recently,researchers at the University of Pittsburgh investigated the effects of Zyprexa and Haldol in male macaques. Drug exposures lasted 18 to 24 months. Post-mortem examination of brain tissue revealed dramatic reductions in fresh brain weight (10%). Subsequent analyses of the parietal lobe tissue demonstrated an 8-10% reduction in total cell number; 6% reduction in neuronal number, 10-18% reduction in the number of astrocytes or oligodendrocytes.
Most importantly, brain scan studies in humans
have repeatedly demonstrated brain volume reductions
following exposures to old and new antipsychotic drugs.
Although the public is not hearing about them,
the mechanisms of these effect are increasingly well studied and include:
mitochondrial toxicity [induction of apoptosis)
membrane disruption [lysosomic trapping, autophagy]
weakening of the blood-brain-barrier
enhancement of Alzheimer's disease "markers" >>
increased tissue transglutaminase increased levels of apoD increased levels of tau protein
Sadly, governmental regulators, medical schools, and health care systems do not yet seem interested in responding to this 60-year public health crisis.
Concerned readers of this posting may be interested in my book, Drug Induced Dementia – a perfect crime.
Grace E. Jackson MD