The most prominent finding of structural abnormalities in the brains of schizophrenia patients is the loss of brain tissue (gray matter), about 5% on average as compared to brains of normal controls
Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the adult population in the United States, or more than 2 million people (International Schizophrenia Consortium, 2009; Perälä et al., 2007) (Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Abnormalities exist in more than one gene (polygenic) that favor the occurrence of abnormalities at the level of neurotransmitters and neural circuits. This distinction is important because there is no "schizophrenia gene", which is reported in the media are different new discoveries about genes that may be involved in part of the disease.Biological Perspectives Although we still have much to learn about the biological underpinnings of schizophrenia, most investigators today recognize that biological factors play a determining role(Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Between acute episodes, people with schizophrenia may still be unable to think clearly, may speak in a flat tone, may have difficulty perceiving emotions in other people’s facial expressions ((Nevid, Rathus and Greene)
Although schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, as many as one-half to two-thirds of schizophrenia patients improve significantly over time (USDHHS, 1999) (Nevid, Rathus and Greene) You can get more information about this video at; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ9H19E02tE
We noted that schizophrenia typically develops during late adolescence or early adult- hood. Psychotic behaviors may emerge gradually over several years, although early signs of deterioration may be observed(Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 24 million people worldwide suffer from schizophrenia (Olson, 2001).
Conversely, drugs that lead to increased production of dopamine, such as cocaine, can induce hallucinations. Because hallucinations resemble dreamlike states, they may be connected to a failure of brain mechanisms that normally prevent dream images from intruding on waking experiences(Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Schizophrenia has been approached from each of the major theoretical perspectives. Although the underlying causes of schizophrenia remain elusive, they are presumed to involve brain abnormalities in combination with psychological, social, and environmental influences (Nevid, Rathus and Greene)
It is important to recognize that genetics alone does not determine a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia. Environmental influences also play important roles). Many people at high genetic risk of developing schizophrenia do not develop the disorder.
Another source of evidence supporting the role of dopamine in schizophrenia is based on the actions of amphetamines, a class of stimulant drugs. These drugs increase the con- centration of dopamine in the synaptic cleft by blocking its reuptake by presynaptic neurons. When given in large doses to normal people, these drugs cause symptoms that mimic paranoid schizophrenia. Antipsychotic drugs help control symptoms of schizophrenia but they are not a cure (Walker & Tessner, 2008). People with chronic schizophrenia typically receive maintenance doses of antipsychotic drugs once their acute symptoms abate(Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Family conflicts and negative family interactions can heap stress on family members with schizophrenia, increasing the risk of recurrent episodes. Researchers and clinicians have worked with families of people with schizo- phrenia to help them cope with the burdens of care and to assist them in developing more cooperative, less confrontational ways of relating to others(Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Thanks all for watching… Regards,Alice Alverio.Please don’t forget to click on the highlight /underline links for more instructive information…
Schizophrenia by Alice Alverio
• So far, the causes of
schizophrenia are not fully
• The current scientific findings
suggest that schizophrenia is a
• which means that a large
number of variables come into
play for the disease to occur
The prefrontal cortex controls many cognitive and
emotional functions, the kinds of functions often
impaired in people with schizophrenia. It is responsible
for many higher- order or executive-type functions,
such as regulating attention, organizing thoughts and
behavior, prioritizing information, and formulating
goals—the very types of deficits often found in people
with schizophrenia (Barch & Smith, 2008). Evidence
shows that the cognitive deficits associated with
schizophrenia, such as problems with memory,
learning, reasoning, and attention, often begin in
childhood in people who later go on to develop
In the Figure , we see a visual representation of the loss of
brain tissue in the brains of adolescents with early-onset
(childhood) schizophrenia. The most prominent sign of loss
of brain tissue is the presence of abnormally enlarged
ventricles, which are hollow spaces in the brain (see Figure
12.3) (Shenton et al., 2009) (Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Prodromal phase in schizophrenia, is
the period of decline in functioning that
precedes the first acute psychotic
Acute episode of schizophrenia
are characterized by delusions,
hallucinations, illogical thinking,
incoherent speech, and bizarre
Residual phase In schizophrenia, is
the phase that follows an acute phase,
characterized by a return to the level
of functioning of the prodromal phase.
Men have a slightly higher risk of developing
schizophrenia than women and tend to develop
the disorder at an earlier age (NCA, 2005; Tandon,
Keshavan, & Nasrallah, 2008). The disorder
typically begins in women between age 25 and
the mid-30s and in men between ages 18 and 25.
Women tend to have a higher level of functioning
before the onset of the disorder and
to have a less severe course of illness than men.
Men with schizophrenia tend to have more cognitive impairment,
greater behavioral deficits, and a poorer response to drug therapy than
women with the disorder (Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
People with schizophrenia may experience auditory hallucinations as female or male voices and as originating inside or
outside their heads. Hallucinatory is may hear voices con- versing about them in the third person, debating their virtues
or faults. Some voices are experienced as supportive and friendly, but most are critical or even terrorizing (Nevid, Rathus
Schizophrenia has been approached from each of the major
theoretical perspectives. Although the underlying causes of
schizophrenia remain elusive, they are presumed to involve
brain abnormalities in combination with psychological, social,
and environmental influences
High-risk children (children whose biological
parents had schizophrenia) were almost
twice as likely to develop schizophre- nia as
those of nonschizophrenic biological
parents, regardless of whether they were
reared by a parent with schizophrenia. It is
also notable that adoptees whose biological
parents did not suffer from schizophrenia
were placed at no greater risk of developing
schizophrenia by being reared by an
adoptive parent with schizophrenia than by a
non- schizophrenic parent. In sum, a genetic
relationship with a person with schizophrenia
seems to be the most prominent risk factor
for developing the disorder.
The results strongly supported the genetic explanation. The incidence of diagnosed schizophrenia was greater
among biological relatives of adoptees who had schizophrenia than among biological relatives of control adoptees.
Adoptive relatives of both the index cases and control cases showed similar, low rates of schizophrenia. These
findings and others show that family linkages in schizophrenia follow shared genes, not shared environments.
• There is no cure for schizophrenia. Treatment is generally multifaceted,
incorporating pharmacological, psychological, and rehabilitative
approaches. Most people treated for schizophrenia in organized mental
health settings receive some form of antipsychotic medication, which is
intended to control symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions and
decrease the risk of recurrent episodes.
• Antipsychotic drugs block dopamine receptors in the brain, which
reduces dopamine activity in the brain and helps quell the more obvious
symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. The effectiveness of
antipsychotic drugs has been repeatedly demonstrated in double-blind,
placebo-controlled studies (Nevid, Rathus and Greene).
Schizophrenia approachIn sum, no single treatment approach
meets all the needs of people with
schizophrenia. The conceptualization
of schizophrenia as a lifelong disability
underscores the need for long-term
treatment interventions that
incorporate antipsychotic medication,
family therapy, supportive or
cognitive-behavioral forms of therapy,
vocational training, and housing and
other social support services. To help
the individual reach maximal social
adjustment, these interventions
should be coordinated and integrated
within a comprehensive model of
Nevid, Jeffrey S., Spencer A. Rathus and Beverly Greene. Abnormal Psychology . n.d.