Aetiologies Of Schizophrenia Essay

935 words - 4 pages

Harry AustinAetiologies of SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is a mental disorder that can be identified as a person's inability to separate their imagination from reality. The cause of Schizophrenia has been suggested to have biological and psychological roots; different theories have been proposed to try to understand the aetiology of Schizophrenia.A key explanation of Schizophrenia that suggests the mental illness is biologically caused is the genetic explanation which indicates that Schizophrenia is genetically inherited; the argument is supported by research such as twin studies, adoption studies and family studies. Family studies were used by Gottesman in 1991, who found that the general population had a 1% chance of developing Schizophrenia but having a sibling who is diagnosed with Schizophrenia increases the probability to 8%, having one parent with Schizophrenia increases the probability to 16% and both parents increases the likelihood to 46%. Additionally, genetic inheritance has been studied through twin studies - for instance, Joseph (2004) found that from all his patients pooled together, monozygotic twin, had a 40.4% concordance rate of developing Schizophrenia whereas dizygotic twins only had 7.4% concordance.Whilst there seems to be a concordance between family member's diagnosed with schizophrenia and the likelihood of developing schizophrenia, the concordance could be influenced by environmental factors; the family members all share the same environment and are exposed to similar issues that may externally develop Schizophrenia. It could be argued that Gottesman's findings of an individual's probability of developing Schizophrenia due to genetic inheritance lacks validity as environmental factors are not considered in his research. Joseph's study is helpful in understanding that Schizophrenia can be genetically influenced - however, only 40.4% concordance does not explain Schizophrenia to be completely influenced by genetics otherwise there would be a 100% concordance rate between monozygotic twins.Biological theories of Schizophrenic aetiologies have further been explored through the neurochemical explanation, which suggests that excess levels of dopamine or oversensitivity to dopamine may result in a person developing Schizophrenia. Neuroleptic drugs such as Thorazine can reduce positive symptoms of Schizophrenia - such as auditory hallucinations and delusions - as they block the activity of dopamine; the correlation between neuroleptic drugs and the reduction of positive symptoms is implicit that Schizophrenia is impacted by neurochemical activity.Neuroleptic drugs are able to lessen the positive symptoms of Schizophrenia but are less successful in reducing negative symptoms which indicate someone's inability to function properly; this does not provide a broad understanding of why a person develops Schizophrenia as negative symptoms are equally common in Schizophrenic patients. Furthermore, the neurochemical explanation isn't able...

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