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"The biological approach tells us all we need to know about schizophrenia" with reference to the quote discuss genetic explanations of schizophrenia.

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Introduction

"The biological approach tells us all we need to know about schizophrenia" with reference to the quote discuss genetic explanations of schizophrenia. The biological approach claims that schizophrenia is caused by genetic, neurotransmitter or structural brain faults. The first of these is the claim that schizophrenia is genetically passed on; if a relative is diagnosed with schizophrenia the first degree relatives will develop schizophrenia. Grottesman (1991) fount that in monozygotic twins if one was diagnosed with schizophrenia then 48% of the time the other twin would go on to develop schizophrenia. In dizygotic twins Grottesman found that if one was diagnosed with schizophrenia then 18% of the time the other will go on to develop schizophrenia. This shows strong support when compared to the general population where 1% of people are diagnosed with schizophrenia. However, monozygotic twins are often reared in a very similar environment; they were born at about the same time and they get treated similarly. ...read more.

Middle

However, a key criticism to note is that genetic factors cannot provide a complete explanation; if the cause of schizophrenia was purely genetic then concordance rates between monozygotic twins would be 100% as they share the same genes. The genetic explanation does not explain why 52% of monozygotic twins do not develop schizophrenia if their other twin has it. The dopamine hypothesis provides a second biological explanation of schizophrenia; the dopamine hypothesis states that schizophrenia is caused by an excess of dopamine which causes neurons to fire too often and transmit too many messages causing a 'message overload' and resulting in schizophrenia. Research into this shows that large doses of amphetamines given to people with no history of schizophrenia show behaviour similar to paranoid schizophrenics and small doses given to people already suffering from the disorder worsen their symptoms. Further drug research shows that antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia work by blocking dopamine receptors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Schizophrenia may be a result of excess dopamine receptors, but it is equally likely that there is no connection between dopamine receptors and schizophrenia. The biological approach therefore provides an incomplete explanation of schizophrenia; this suggests that there is another factor affecting the development of schizophrenia. The above explanations appear to provide an incomplete explanation of schizophrenia; there seems to be a genetic link but that link is not 100% so the genetic model cannot be regarded as full explanation for schizophrenia. As a solution to this, the diathesis-stress model has been proposed. The diathesis stress model claims that people have a biological predisposition to schizophrenia and environmental factors encourage or discourage the transition of the predisposition to schizophrenia itself. Tienari et al (1994) found that no adopted children raised in "healthy" families developed schizophrenia whereas 9% raised in "mildly disturbed" families and 11% in "severely disturbed" families developed schizophrenia. The adopted children were children were of schizophrenic mothers, this shows that although they were born with a predisposition those placed in "healthy" families were not affected by this predisposition. ...read more.

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