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2a outline two or more clinical characteristics of schizophrenia

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2a outline two or more clinical characteristics of schizophrenia (5 marks) They symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive and negative. Positive symptoms reflect a distortion of normal functioning, and include delusions (bizarre beliefs that appear real but are not.) a sense of being controlled (e.g. by an alien force), auditory hallucinations (e.g. hearing voices), and disordered thinking (e.g. the belief that thoughts are being broadcast to others). Negative symptoms reflect a lessening or loss of normal function, and include affective flattening (a reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression), alogia (poverty of speech) and avolition (the inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behaviour). A diagnosis of schizophrenia requires at least a one-month duration of two or more positive symptoms. Negative symptoms often persist during periods of few positive symptoms. ...read more.


identical twins), there is less than 50% risk of both developing schizophrenia if one is schizophrenic, thus showing a significant environmental contribution to the disorder. The diathesis-stress model proposes that individuals may be genetically predisposed to become schizophrenics but the actual disorder depends on exposure to significant life stressors. A further problem for genetic explanations is that they cannot account for patients who have no family history of the disorder, which is the case for about two-thirds of schizophrenic patients (Stirling and Hellewell, 1999).However, if schizophrenia is caused by large numbers of genes, individuals who possesses only a few of these genes would not develop schizophrenia. Schizophrenia would only develop when a large number of these genes are present. The dopamine hypothesis emphasises the role of excess dopamine activity in schizophrenia. ...read more.


This could be explained by a variation in dopamine levels over time, but there is no suggestion why this might occur. Attempts to explain schizophrenia simply in terms of one biological cause are challenged by the fact that there are different types of schizophrenia. Type 1 schizophrenia (characterised by positive symptoms) and type 2 schizophrenia (characterised by negative symptoms) are believed to different causes rather than one single biological cause. Explaining schizophrenia from a purely biological perspective is further challenged by research which shows an important role for environmental influences in the development and maintenance of the disorder. Research by Linszen et al (1987), for example, found that patients returning to a family with high levels of expressed emotion (EE) were four times more likely to relapse than those in families with low levels of EE. ...read more.

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