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Outline and evaluate two biological explanations of schizophrenia

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(a) Outline and evaluate two biological explanations of schizophrenia There are many biological explanations of schizophrenia. In this essay I will concentrate on the genetic explanation and biochemical explanation of the disorder. There are many studies that look in to genetics and the link to schizophrenia. This is dues to an original finding that schizophrenia runs in families and therefore suggests that genes are responsible for the disorder. I study was preformed by Janicak et al 2001; they found that monozygotic twins have a 48% concordance rate. This is considerably less in dizygotic twins where the concordance rate falls to 17%. This would suggest there is a strong case for genetics being involved with schizophrenia. ...read more.


However genetic explanations cannot account for the patients who have no family history of the disorder. Biochemical factors are used to suggest that schizophrenia is caused by abnormal neurotransmitter activity. The main aspect of this explanation is the Dopamine hypothesis. Schizophrenia has been linked to with high levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with attention. Schizophrenics seem to have an increased number of D2 dopamine receptors on receiving neurons. This theory is support by the fact that Phenothiazines bind with D2 receptors and reduce positive symptoms. Another piece of supporting evidence is that Parkinson's disease drug L-dopa, increase the level of dopamine and causes schizophrenic like symptoms in some people. However excess dopamine can only explain some types of schizophrenia, usually positive rather than negative. ...read more.


The social drift hypothesis suggests that people with schizophrenia are unable to function normally, lose their jobs and drift into lower social classes, and poor areas of cities. Some psychologists suggest that dysfunctional family relationships with 'abnormal' communication may play a part, creating highly stressful environments. However, this might be due to difficulties in coping with a member of the family who is mentally disturbed, not the reason for the illness. In the 60's, Laing suggested that schizophrenia might be a rational response to feeling trapped in a mad world. Once diagnosed and labelled the person is seen as 'ill'. Medical treatments, which may be unsuitable, are then imposed on individuals. The problem with Laing's anti-psychiatry view is that more recent, strong evidence indicates that schizophrenia is a physical disease of the brain. "www.scool.co.uk" ...read more.

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