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Bio explanations of schizophrenia

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Introduction

Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia One biological explanation for schizophrenia is that genetic factors are involved. This view considers that certain individuals possess certain genes which predispose an individual to schizophrenia. This can be explained in more detail using studies on twins. According to research identical twins are said to share 100% of their genes and therefore if one twin has schizophrenia, there's a 48% chance of the other twin developing it too. Gottesman summarised 40 twin studies and found that the concordance rate for MZ twins was 48% and the concordance rate for DZ twins was about 17%. Concordance rates were also studied by Cardano et al using the Maudsley twin register. ...read more.

Middle

One other biological explanation of schizophrenia involves the brain structure. According tot his explanation schizophrenia is a mental detoriation at an early age. In other words brain damage at the time or before the time of birth could be a factor in the development of schizophrenia. Schizophrenics are found to have enlarged ventricles in the brain. This is supported by Pahl, Swayze and Andreason who reviewed 50 studies and found that schizophrenics had abnormally large lateral ventricles in their brain. Further evidence of the involvement of ventricles was reported by Suddath et al who used MRI to obtain pictures of brain structure from MZ or identical twin pairs in which only 1 twin had schizophrenia. ...read more.

Conclusion

This hypothesis is supported by Wise and Stein who proposed that a lack of the enzyme that converts dopamine to norepinephrine cause schizophrenia. This results in too much dopamine and not enough norepinephrine. However a problem with the dopamine over activity theory is that the antipsychotic medication clozapine works by blocking norepinephrine receptors. i.e: reducing the activity of norepinephrine. If a deficit of norepinephrine were a factor in schizophrenia it would be expected that clozapine would make the symptoms worse not better. Nevertheless nueroleptic drugs that block dopamine which seem to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia provide evidence that dopamine does play a role in schizophrenia. Although Barlow and Durrant pointed out that there are problems with the dopamine hypothesis. Firstly because nueroleptic drugs block dopamine fairly rapidly, but generally fail to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. This is puzzling if high levels of dopamine are responsible for maintaining the symptoms. ...read more.

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