Schizophrenia, a mental disorder that is linked to genetic and environmental factors, manifests itself in a variety of symptoms over time. Schizophrenia makes telling the difference between reality and non-reality difficult. Schizophrenia also makes it troublesome for sufferers to think clearly or respond normally or appropriately in social situations. There is scientific evidence demonstrating a variety of biological and environmental aspects that contribute to the development of schizophrenia.
First, the strongest evidence points to genetic factors that contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia. Michael Green, author of Schizophrenia Revealed, states “In the not-so-distant past, it was possible to have an honest difference of opinion about this point but not anymore.” (54) It is estimated that the hereditary chances of this disorder are between 74 percent to almost 90 percent, making genetics the most important factor for developing schizophrenia (52). The National Institute of Mental Health author of “Schizophrenia” adds “The illness occurs in 10% of people who have first-degree relatives with the disorder; such as a parent, brother, or sister.” Having a second degree relative has also shown a higher than average development of the
disorder, with those at highest risk being an identical twin of a person diagnosed with schizophrenia. Sun, Han and Zhao, authors of "Gene-and evidence-based candidate gene selection for schizophrenia and gene feature analysis," think several genes are shown to be associated with the schizophrenia, but no one gene has been identified or said to cause the disorder itself. Studies suggest that schizophrenia is the product of a certain gene that chemically malfunctions. There are also a spectrum of risk alleles (genes that are formed due to a mutation) that have been identified and link schizophrenia with other mental disorders such as depression, autism and bipolar disorder.
Another biological factor that contributes to the development of schizophrenia happens during gestation, particularly in the second trimester. The time period during the second trimester is critical because neurons in the developing fetus have to travel to their specific destination (cell migration) in order to set up proper connections with other neurons (synapsis). This synapsis, or connection, is how neurons communicate with each other; this is the way our brain tells our bodies what to do. Scientists believe that the neurons, for some reason, stop just short of their intended destination, therefore leading to miscommunication and misfiring of information between neurons. To help you further understand this process imagine a room with brightly colored boxes and toys. Each toy needs to be placed in the box of the same color. When all of your neurons are working properly and proper synapsis has happened, you can accurately see color and know the blue ball goes into the blue box, the red blocks go into the red...