Biological causes of abnormality

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Maria Sideras

Biological causes of abnormality


Germs/micro-organisms such as bacteria are known to causes illness, i.e.- physical illness such a measles and influenza. In the same way, mental illnesses have also been linked to known micro-organisms. General Paresis is a mental illness which causes delusion of grandeur, dullness, forgetfulness, mental deterioration and eventually paralysis and death. German neurologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing found that it was caused by the syphilis bacterium. Micro-organisms have also been suggested as a cause of schizophrenia.

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Genetic factors

Some people may inherit illnesses which have been carries on through genes passed down through generations. Davies (1985) found that relatives of schizophrenics are 19 times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease compared with people who do not have a trace schizophrenia in their family. Gene mapping includes identifying particular genes which causes an illness e.g. – Sherrington et al  (1988) found evidence that of a link between schizophrenia and a gene located on chromosome 5 although further research has been unable to confirm this.


The patient’s bio chemistry is thought to ...

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