§ 28. Mr. Iremonger
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent advances have been made in the treatment of schizophrenia with special reference to the development of biochemical remedies.
§ Dr. John Dunwoody
In the past few years long-acting preparations of tranquillizing drugs have been developed which are of value in the treatment of schizophrenia. Possible biochemical causes of schizophrenia continue to be investigated, but I am advised that there are as yet no developments which suggest that a specific biochemical treatment is effective.
§ Mr. Iremonger
Could the hon. Gentleman be specific on two points: first, about the investigations into the Hoffer and Osmond Niacin treatment; second, about the use of injections instead of pills to cut the readmittance rate for discharged schizophrenic patients?
§ Dr. Dunwoody
I am aware of the experiments of Hoffer and Osmond in the use of Niacin, but I am advised that the results are unproved. However, this drug is available freely under the National Health Service. As regards injections, the position is that drugs of a type which have been used orally for a long time are now available in injection form. They can be much more effective because they guarantee that the patient 915 receives the drug, and they prevent patients relapsing in a much higher proportion of cases than previously.