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Discuss the biological explanation for schizophrenia taking in to account genetics and brain structure

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Introduction

´╗┐Discuss the biological explanation for schizophrenia taking in to account genetics and brain structure Schizophrenia is a complex illness that affects people?s moods, feelings, perceptions, thoughts, behaviour and ability to communicate. Sufferers are usually withdrawn and prefer to be left alone and are not especially prone to violence. One biological explanation involves genetics to describe how schizophrenia occurs. This theory relies on twin studies, family studies and adoption studies to provide support for their opinions. Gottesman et al (1987) constructed a family study to investigate the genetic component of schizophrenia. The results showed that for closer relations, there was a higher concordance rate. This concludes that genetic factors do play a moderate role in family patterns of schizophrenia. Gottesman also reported that in twins, the concordance rate for monozygotic twins, the concordance rate was 46%, whereas the concordance rate for dizygotic twins was only 17%. Rosenthal (1963) ...read more.

Middle

Adoptee studies have found good support for the genetic theory for schizophrenia. Heston (1966) studied adopted away offspring of schizophrenic mothers and found a significant rate of schizophrenia in these children (10.4% prevalence, which became 16.6% when necessary age corrections were made). Children from unaffected mothers showed no symptoms of schizophrenia. While it may be easier to distinguish between genetic and environmental factors in adoption studies, because the adopted child is raised away from the genetic parent and environment, adoption studies are very difficult to carry out. This is because the necessary information about parent and child is rarely available. In the cases where it is available there may have been contact between the child and the genetic parent, making it more difficult to distinguish between genetic and environmental influence. A genetic predetermination could lead to abnormalities in the brain. Weinberger and Wyatt (1982) conducted research into schizophrenia by examining CAT scans and the ventricle size of the brain. ...read more.

Conclusion

believes that these differences occur before the onset of schizophrenia, implying that they are more likely to be a cause than an outcome of the disorder. Since the abnormalities in brain structure do not increase over time, as is the case with diseases like Alzheimer?s, then it appears that the problems are due to a failure of the brain to develop normally in the first place. One criticism often aimed at the possible relationship between brain damage and schizophrenia, is that no one pattern of damage seems to correlate with the disorder. It seems that certain damage is associated with certain symptoms however; damage to the temporal lobe is associated with some of the positive symptoms whereas damage to the frontal lobe is associated more with the negative symptoms. Any such differences between the brain of a ?schizophrenic? and ?non-schizophrenic? brain are so small that it is not possible to detect them in the individual. They only become apparent if groups of schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics are compared. ...read more.

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