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Schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia develop as the patient grows older

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Schizophrenia Rachel Burger A disease that leads to more suicide deaths than AIDS, SIDS, and MS combined is present in one in one hundred people globally. Schizophrenia is prone to lead to long-term disability, unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse, and family trauma. Ten percent of all patients commit suicide. Schizophrenia is an infamous disease attacking the American population. What is schizophrenia, how is it caused, what does it do, and who does it effect? One percent of America has schizophrenia, two million in any given year. Although schizophrenia has the same effect on men and women, men have more noticeable symptoms earlier in their life. For men, symptoms start occurring from their late teens to early twenties; while for women, they are most commonly affected in their twenties to early thirties. Symptoms of schizophrenia develop as the patient grows older. At first, he or she will experience mood changes, a minor effect. As the patient grows older, he or she will experience some or all of the classic signs. These signs are divided up into positive and negative effects. The first four are positive, causing twisting of the senses or physical problems. ...read more.


What causes schizophrenia? Researchers have varied hypotheses. Here are three of the top and most accepted theories. Many believe that schizophrenia is related to genetics, however, just as many disagree. According to William A. Faustman, an associate professor at Stanford University and a clinical and research psychologist at Veterans Affair Palo Alto Health Care Systems, "Technologies developed in recent years allow for genetic linkage studies, in which sophisticated laboratory techniques permits scientists to test whether the distribution of schizophrenia in families is related to specific locations on various human chromosomes. Some initial linkage to a location on chromosome 5 was reported, but unfortunately, researchers have not been able to repeat this finding. Other studies have also been unable to find a consistent genetic link for schizophrenia." (Faustman). This, simply put, means that scientists have only found one connection to a genetic problem, but have not been able to find it again. Here is a graph of the supposed odds of inheriting schizophrenia from a relative: Relative with Schizophrenia Approximate Chance of Developing Schizophrenia Approximate Chance of Remaining Free of Schizophrenia Siblings 8% 92% Twin (identical) 50% 50% Twin (fraternal) 12% 88% One Parent 12% 88% Two Parents 40% 60% Further research shows a more in depth analysis of the supposed affected chromosomes when finding the disorder schizophrenia. ...read more.


or function (for example, decreased metabolic activity in certain brain regions). It should be emphasized that these abnormalities are quite subtle and are not characteristic of all people with schizophrenia, nor do they occur only in individuals with this illness. Microscopic studies of brain tissue after death have also shown small changes in distribution or number of brain cells in people with schizophrenia. It appears that many (but probably not all) of these changes are present before an individual becomes ill, and schizophrenia may be, in part, a disorder in development of the brain." (NISAD). This means that subtle differences in brain shape can be the cause of a major portion of schizophrenia. An important question asked is, "can schizophrenia be cured?" The answer is: no, but it can be treated through medicines and psychotherapy. Schizophrenia, as defined in Dictionary.com, is simply described as "any of several psychotic disorders characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances of thought and language and withdrawal from social contact." As we have just found out, schizophrenia is much more than that. There are several symptoms of schizophrenia, including delusions, hallucinations, and lack of functioning in a social situation. We don't know all the causes of schizophrenia yet, but the main theory is that it is genetically related. Schizophrenic patients are found all over the world, regardless of habitat, culture, race, or gender. 1 ...read more.

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