Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

174 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Does Abilify cause brain to shrink?

Answered by
Dr. Abhishek Kapoor


Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2496 Questions

Posted on Tue, 5 Aug 2014 in Mental Health
Question: Hello, I saw a statement online saying that using psychotic medicines like Abilify can cause your brain to shrink every year by 1%.

Is that true? Please tell me.

Also tell me if I use Seroquel 400 mg for the rest of my life am I going to become a low functioning person after 10 or more years?

Thank you
Answered by Dr. Abhishek Kapoor 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
That is true.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for using healthcare magic. I, Dr Abhishek Kapoor, would help you in this query.

There is lot of research going on in this area to check effect of antipsychotic on brain volume. In the past 15 years, research has indicated that people with schizophrenia have smaller cerebral volumes than the general population and that this reduction is particularly large in grey-matter structures. For instance, one meta-analysis points to 5–7% reductions in the size of structure, which are involved in memory storage and retrieval.

But scientists have debated whether the decrease is caused by the disease alone or whether powerful antipsychotic drugs also have a role. According to the latest findings, the more antipsychotics patients receive, the more likely they are to have a decreased amount of grey matter. That could be due to increase severity of illness. If a individual has severe illness and need higher dose of antipsychotic, then chances of brain changes are possible. Rest, depends upon genesis of brain.

In your case, it is difficult to tell the effect of seroquel after 10 years. Antipsychotic does not effect brain size in all cases. It depends upon severity of illness, genesis or dose. In your case, if your stay asymptomatic for longer period and maintain yourself with low dose (lesser than 400 mg), then chances of getting such effect is less.

If you have more query, you can ask.

Dr. Abhishek Kapoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Drug/Medication ,  
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Brain size

doctor1 MD

My mother, age 71, has been showing significant memory and cognitive functioning decline in the last 1.5 years. Her recent repeat MRI of the brain (last one was 9/2009) showed cerebral volume loss and chronic micro vascular changes this consistent with age related decline or possibly something more serious?

doctor1 MD

Hi, may i know the effect of 'prominence of extracerebral csf spaces noted in fronto-parietal region on both sides'.

doctor1 MD

Hello I have just had the report of MRI scan of my daughter who is 2 years 5 months old (she was born in 28 weeks - healthy pregnancy although was diagnosed with uriniary infection and pregnancy sugar just 3 to 4 days prior to labor) . The report...

doctor1 MD

I recently had an MRI on my brain after a bad fall and the results were: No acute intracranial abnormality. Chronic microvascular ischemic change of subcortical and deep white matter . Mild frontal cortical atrophy . These impressions don't sound...

doctor1 MD

I am worried for my child as it has been diagnosed as having craniosynthosis and slight brain haemorrage during birth. She is currently around 3-1/2 months old and we have consulted 3 doctors and each of them are having differing opinions, some suggest immediate operation while others suggest to wait and watch.. we are thoroughly confused and need more opinion to help us in reaching a suitable decision. Please help. thanks

doctor1 MD

My daughter, born at 33 weeks on the nose and now aged 8 months, had her first MRI today. We were referred to the MRI by both her pediatrician and her ophthalmologist because of her delayed motor and vision development, hypotonia, intermittent esotropia.

The results came back and she was found to have suffered what they think it was a "Hypoxic Ischemic Injury" in utero. "The volume of white matter throughout the brain is decreased. The corpus callosum is diffusely thinned, but completely formed... Diffuse mild cerebral volume loss, suggestive of a remote injury, potentially in utero. No evidence of acute or subacute injury. Symmetric decreased size of the optic nerves and chiasm, commensurate with diffuse cerebral white matter loss... Myelination is appropriate for age, given prematurity"

They refuse to speculate on either cause or prognosis.

What, without examining the MRI yourself, do you think the prognosis might be? Is there a good resource for for me to research these findings in more detail? Most Google searches are returning papers written on cerebral volume loss in Alzheimer's patients... Hardly the same thing.

Concerned Father