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"Biological explanations of schizophrenia tell us all we need to know about this disorder" Critically consider biological explanations of schizophrenia with reference to the issue raised in the quotation above.

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Introduction

"Biological explanations of schizophrenia tell us all we need to know about this disorder" Critically consider biological explanations of schizophrenia with reference to the issue raised in the quotation above. The biological approach covers a verity of different explanations. The first explanation comes from twin studies, abortion studies and perspective studies. If schizophrenia was totally and always inherited then concordance rates between MZ twins (identical) and DZ twins (non identical) would be 100%. If on the other hand genetic inheritance had nothing to do with schizophrenia, the concordance rates would be close to 0%. In a study by Gottesman, it was found that there was a concordance rate of 48% for MZ twins as opposed to 17% for DZ twins. A study by Kendler supports this. In this study it was found that there was a concordance rate of 50% for MZ twins compared to a 15% rate doe DZ twins. ...read more.

Middle

It has been noted that Clozapine (a new drug for schizophrenia) blocks dopamine activity less then Phenothiazies and therefore should be less effective in treating schizophrenia. However, there is growing support for the view that Serotonin as well as dopamine plays a part in producing the symptoms of schizophrenia and Clozapine blocks both of these neurotransmitters. A study by Kammen shows that on certain occasions taking amphetamines can lead to a reduction in the symptoms of schizophrenia. The evidence for the dopamine hypothesis is correlational, therefore it cannot be concluded that schizophrenia is caused by an excess of dopamine. Another explanation is Neuroanatomy, there seems to be evidence that there are structural differences in the brains of schizophrenia and non-schizophrenics. Brown for example has noted that many schizophrenics have lighter brains with enlarged ventricles. However, a study by Pearlson has failed to replicate these findings. It is also possible that the ventricular enlargement could be the result rather than the cause of schizophrenia. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hollingshead and Redlich found that schizophrenia was twice as likely to be found in the lower social classes especially those living in densely populated and inner city areas. A study by Farris supports this. Farris found a higher rate of schizophrenia in working class areas with poor housing, overcrowding and high crime rates, than in the more middle class areas. They also found that the schizophrenics had always lived in these areas and had not drifted into them because of their disorder. From this we can conclude that the biological approach does not explain everything. The biological approach is deterministic in that it believes all behaviour is caused by factors other then one's on will. The biological approach does not tell us all we need to know about schizophrenia. The biological approach is reductionistic, deterministic, emphasizes nature and ignores nurture. Therefore it ignores psychology and environmental triggers such as high expressed emotion and social causation. However, the biological approach explains a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia but for a full understanding the diathesis stress model needs to be used. ...read more.

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