Neurotoxicity Hypothesis:
Evidence is “Limited”


The hypothesis that psychosis has a toxic effect on the brain is very limited, according to a literature review published in Psychological Medicine.  In general, the study notes, research that did not support the hypothesis was larger in size and more adequately designed than studies that support the hypothesis.

Abstract →

Rund, B.; Does active psychosis cause neurobiological pathology? A critical review of the neurotoxicity hypothesis. Psychological Medicine. September 25, 2013.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. And of course, they neglect to mention that the “treatment” for these supposed “neurotoxic effects” of psychosis is clearly and unambiguously shown to be neurotoxic, even by psychiatric apologist Nancy Andreasen. It is hard to understand how this isn’t obvious to theses oh-so-smart researchers. But I’m glad they at least mentioned that the neurotoxic theory of psychosis is pretty sketchy even with the biased research that has been done to try and support it. Take the drugs into account, and there is no theory. It’s crap.

    — Steve

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  2. My experience with antipsychotics is they gave me “psychosis” initially, terrifying thoughts so much that I would not leave my bedroom for three days. My first psychiatrist actually confessed to a “Foul up” in his medical records, but not until after I left him because he thought doubling the amount of the med was the “cure” for the extremely adverse effect.

    And I had zero personal history of any mental health issues prior to this, and was mandated to take the drugs by a paranoid of a malpractice suit doctor covering up her husband’s “bad fix” on a broken bone, and her “complex” drug cocktail given to cover-up of her husband’s medical error.

    My theory, after eight years of research into the psycho / pharmaceutical industries, is that the psychiatric industry spent the past 60 years writing a “bible” of stigmatizations describing the serious mental illnesses their drugs cause, and of course a medicalization of normal human emotions and behaviors to railroad as many people as possible onto them … for profit, of course.

    What they should be studying is the neurotoxic effects, and resulting psychosis, that the psychiatric drugs cause. Because it was completely insane dealing with supposed doctors who were incapable of comprehending the words, “The drugs make me sick.” Thank God I finally found an oral surgeon who did not share the psychiatric delusion that antipsychotics are the end all, be all, answer to solving all real life problems.

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