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To What Extent Are Neurotransmitters Implicated In Schizophrenia

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Introduction

To What Extent Are Neurotransmitters Implicated In Schizophrenia During the course of this essay. The effects of Schizophrenia will be discussed, and whether or not neurotransmitters have a major implication in the diagnosis of such a disease. First we will look at the neurotransmitters, and how they develop. Followed by the biological implications towards Schizophrenia. Concluding with empirical evidence to support or disagree with the different aspects that effect the prognosis of Schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters basically evolve through the synoptic knob. This is where an impulse arrives at the synoptic knob, causing calcium to diffuse into from a surrounding tissue fluid. These Ions break down only a few of the synoptic vesicles to transfer to the synaptic membrane. Which then transmits a discharge known as a neurotransmitter. There are over 50 different neurotransmitters within the Human nervous system. But, there have only been two neurotransmitters that have been broadly studied. They are Acetycholine and Norepinephrine. Acetypcholine originates within the neuromuscular nerve junctions, which tend to be released at the synapses of skeletal muscles, and they consist from many other nerve endings within the brain. Acetycholine is often associated with Alzheimer's disease. Norepinephrine is released by sympathetic neurons, and it is these sympathetic neurons that are found in the brain and spinal cord. ...read more.

Middle

noted that their were very few cases of identical twins with Schizophrenia that were separated. Showing that this was a poor assumption as a representation of the general public. Even though genetic factors have been applied, no one knows exactly what they are after, after many years of trying. The Biochemical explanation, has created the most rewarding outcome in recent years towards the diagnosis of Schizophrenia, and this happens to be the Dopamine Hypothesis. Which refers to the over activity in the neural pathways. Due to an excess of the Dopamine neurotransmitter. There is evidence to support such a prognosis e.g. in certain postmortems carried out on Schizophrenics, resulted in un-usually high levels of Dopamine in the limbic system .Iverson (1979). Secondly there are the anti-schizophrenic drugs (chlorpromazine) which are predicted to work by binding the receptor sites which contain Dopamine, suggesting that they restrain the ability of the Dopamine receptors to react, concluding with their being less Dopamine activity. There is also evidence to suggest that high levels of Amphetamines and L-dopa, can actually increase the activity of Dopamine, producing disorders that are similarly found within certain cases of Schizophrenia. These Dopamine neurons are found within the basil ganglia, and frontal cortex of the brain. ...read more.

Conclusion

A complete different theory to the Dopamine Hypothesis. Greenough (2002) discovered the spines in the brains of people suffering from Schizophrenia were much smaller and abnormally shaped. Losing what they call characteristic head & tail morphology. In favour of simply a tail or cylindrical structure. This research was carried out in the University of Illinois, US. There has already been previous work that have suggested that there are some general structural differences within the brains of Schizophrenics, and that they have a reduction in the volume of the cortex, especially within the pre frontal cortex, with an enlargement of the ventricles. Greenough whom was a member of the above study, concluded that there is a large scale difference in the structure of the synapses. Stating that it is a maladaptive change that would alter the way neurons communicate. In conclusion the diagnosis of Schizophrenia is not as clear cut as first thought. As looking back at some of the empirical evidence, suggests that there can be a number of different aspects that can effect the prognosis of such a disease as Schizophrenia. We have looked at the evidence that suggests that neurotransmitters can cause a Dopamine chemical reaction which indicates to that of the Dopamine Hypothesis. Yet, there still seems to be a lack of understanding whether it is infact biological or environmental factors that bring on the onset of such a disease. ...read more.

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