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I'm not sure what's up with this sentence, but I'm debating whether or not I should use an adverb here.

1) Not only do antipsychotics have debilitating side effects ranging from tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, akathisia, diabetes, and obesity, research has demonstrated they can cause cognitive impairment independently of any diagnosis.

or

2) Not only do antipsychotics have debilitating side effects ranging from tardive dyskinesia, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, akathisia, diabetes, and obesity, research has demonstrated they can cause cognitive impairment independent of any diagnosis.

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  • I am not going to answer because I have no clue what you really mean. Grammatically, the adverb is correct because the only word which it could sensibly modify is "can cause." But even that makes little sense. What disease is caused by a diagnosis? That is just too silly. But obesity does not usually cause cognitive impairment. I suspect you mean something like "research has shown that they may also cause cognitive impairment even in the absence of those side effects." – Jeff Morrow Jan 16 '19 at 3:34
  • Please reread. Many psychiatrists claim that the cognitive impairment associated with antipsychotics is the result of the DIAGNOSIS (e.g., bipolar causes cognitive impairment and not the medications themselves). That's exactly what the sentence states. Few studies have been conducted on non-medicated psychotic patients for ethical concerns. However, animal studies have shown significant brain atrophy on Macaque monkeys on Haldol. Assuming monkeys can't suffer from a mental illlness, this brain damage is the result of the medication and not the illness. – user27343 Jan 16 '19 at 3:51
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    Diagnosis is different from the disease identified or misidentified by diagnosis. People do not die because they have been diagnosed with cancer. They die from cancer, not the diagnosis. I assume that monkeys do not suffer from diagnoses, but whether all monkeys, particularly all monkeys imprisoned and tortured by researchers, are sane is an open question. – Jeff Morrow Jan 16 '19 at 4:00
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    You can say "diagnosis" when you mean "disease," and you can say "independent cognitive impairment" when you mean cognitive impairment dependent on taking drugs. It's a free country. You can assert that your subjective diagnosis is objective reality. You can even say "subjective science" without cracking a smile. We are straying from the topic. You do not seem to believe this impairment is independent of the drugs so why use "independent" to describe the impairment. What you seem to be saying is that the previously mentioned side effects do not cause the impairment. Adverb. – Jeff Morrow Jan 16 '19 at 4:21
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    The existence of a disease is not at all the same thing as stating it exists The two are related, but they have no essential connection with each other. I can die from something that is never diagnosed. Similarly, I could receive an incorrect diagnosis and live a long life. A diagnosis is simply a statement, an opinion or deduction. It describes what is believed to an actual state of affairs. I have knowledge and I received a diploma. But the diploma has nothing to do with my knowledge itself, aside from indicating I attended some courses and received a minimum set of grades. – Jason Bassford Jan 16 '19 at 5:06
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Native AmE speaker. "Independently" and "independent" are modifying different parts of your sentence. Which you choose depends on your intended meaning, see emphasis below.

1) Not only do antipsychotics have debilitating side effects...research has demonstrated they can cause cognitive impairment independently, without any diagnosis.

The adverb "independently" refers to the capability each of the previously mentioned side effects have of causing cognitive impairment. Also, since the adverb is not related to the diagnosis, the sentence needed to be modified for grammatical correctness.

2) Not only do antipsychotics have debilitating side effects...research has demonstrated they can cause cognitive impairment independent of any diagnosis.

In 2, "independent" refers to the diagnosis having no influence over the side effects.

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  • Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for. Is "independent" called a postpositive adjective? – user27343 Jan 16 '19 at 5:44
  • I don't have the best grasp on formal grammatical terms, but to my understanding: yes and no. 'Post' means 'after', so it is not a postpositive adjective in the sentence above. However, it CAN be; for example, "We need someone independent." In this case 'independent' is modifying the noun 'someone', which it follows. – ch3ru Jan 17 '19 at 7:53

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