Biological Approach to Schizophrenia

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Biological approach

The biological approach suggests that schizophrenia is a disorder caused by genetic abnormalities and increased biochemical levels.

Schizophrenia appears to run in families and genetic studies have shown that the risk of developing schizophrenia is proportional to the amount of genes they share. The assumption is that monozygotic (MZ) twins will show a greater concordance rate than dizygotic (DZ) twins because they are genetically similar. Gottesman et al found that MZ twins had a 50% concordance rate whereas DZ twins had a rate of only 9%. These findings support the idea that there is a genetic component to schizophrenia. However, concordance rates are still below 100% which means genetics alone cannot explain schizophrenia, suggesting an alternative component.

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Although twin studies show a strong genetic link with schizophrenia they do not use the same diagnostic criteria.  McGuffin found that different definitions produce different concordance rates and therefore comparisons cannot be made within these studies.

Another limitation is that MZ twins are very rare. 1% of the world are schizophrenics and only a small portion of these are MZ twins. This sample is small and we cannot have lots of research to then successfully generalise these findings.

One of the main criticism is that both twins live in the same environment and therefore we cannot determine whether it ...

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