What is Schizophrenia


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What is Schizophrenia

  1. 1. ==== ====For Great Schizophrenia Relief Tips Check This Outhttp://schizophrenia-blog.newrealitybegins.com==== ====Schizophrenia is an incredible example of mental muddle which is exemplified by crumbling ofthought processes and emotional receptiveness. It can be straightforwardly acknowledged byauditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre illusions, dislocated speech or thinking aptitudepursued by social or occupational dysfunction. The warning signs initiate untimely in theadulthood. The disease is recognized to affect about 1% of the human population with about 2million patients from the United States unaided.Schizophrenia is also known as split personality disorder and it affects men extra recurrently incontrast to women. A number of aspects play decisive task in aggravating the symptoms of thisdisorder and these issues are genetic parameters, early environment, neurobiology, physiologicaland social processes. Some drugs also contribute a petite portion in making the condition of thepatient poorer.In the present scenario researchers are very much spotlighted on the neurobiological factors butno apposite consequence has cropped up. The authentic cause of the disorder is still acontentious concern and the intact argument is centered on the verity that whether the disorder isdue to a single cause or other syndromes are also correlated with it. The word schizophrenia hasbeen taken from a Greek word implicating split mind. Antipsychotic medication is usually appliedwhile treating the patients of this disorder as it curbs dopamine and serotonin receptor bustle.Psychotherapy tracked by social and vocational rehabilitation play an imperative role in treatment.In very ruthless cases hospitalization becomes obligatory. The disorder is essentially branded toinfluence cognition causing setbacks connected with behavior and emotions. Patients also sufferfrom depression and anxiety disorders. The typical life span of the patient is of 12-15 years afterthe identification of the disease.TypesThe ICD-10 criteria are used in the European countries but DSM-IV-TR criteria are used in theUnited States and rest of the world for the classification of schizophrenia. The ICD-10 criteriaaccentuate more on Schneiderian first-rank symptoms. The revised fourth edition of Diagnosticand Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) defines three major criteria whileclassifying individuals suffering from schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from this diseasegenerally suffer from delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganizedbehavior and negative symptoms. The personal relations as well as the personal life of the victimalso get distracted. These signs of disturbance generally persist for about six months. Childrenbelonging to the age group of 6 years sometimes show symptoms of this disease and they are atthe risk of developing these symptoms more intensely in their adulthood. There are five types ofschizophrenia each can be distinguished on the basis of the symptoms. These are:1. Paranoid Schizophrenia
  2. 2. In this case the victim suffers from one or more different types of delusions as well as auditoryhallucinations. The symptoms of this type are entirely different from that of disorganizedschizophrenia.2. Disorganized SchizophreniaThe most noticeable symptoms of the disorganized schizophrenia are disorganized speech andbehavior but the symptoms are absolutely different from that of catatonic schizophrenia.3. Catatonic SchizophreniaThe persons suffering from this disorder generally feel difficulty in moving, show resistance inmoving as well as show anomalous movements also.4. Undifferentiated SchizophreniaThis condition can be identified by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior,catatonic behavior or negative symptoms. The individuals suffering from this state cannot beplaced in the category of paranoid, disorganized and catatonic schizophrenia.5. Residual SchizophreniaThe common symptoms include difficulty in speaking as well as loss of interest in daily activities.HistoryThe term schizophrenia is in practice since 1911. It was finally kept in the category of mentalillness in 1887 by Emil Kraepelin. The Ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, and Romanwritings also describe about this disorder. During the medieval times schizophrenia was thought tobe caused by spirits and evil powers. Studies have specified that the social stigma is one of thetreacherous obstacles that stop the patients of schizophrenia from recovering. A study carried outin 1999 designated that about 12.8% Americans who were suffering from schizophrenia weremore interested violent activities while 48% individuals were calm and quite. A very famousHollywood film entitled The Beautiful Mind depicts the life of John Nash who suffers from paranoidschizophrenia. Another film The Soloist portrays about the challenges faced by Juilliard-trainedmusician Nathaniel Ayers as a result of schizophrenia.CausesBoth genetic as well as environmental factors play a strategic role in the development ofschizophrenia. People with family history of the disease are at the risk of getting distressed withthe disease in near future. However, the guesstimates of heritability vary due to difficulty inseparating the genetic as well as environmental factors while identifying the disease. According toan estimate about 40% of the mono-zygotic twins are at the risk of getting infected with thisdisease. Many genes are associated with development of every symptom of the disorder. Anumber of genome wide associations like zinc finger protein 804A, NOTCH4 and protein loci arefound to be linked. There appears a momentous overlap between the genetics of schizophreniaand bipolar disorder. The environmental factors that are linked with schizophrenia include livingenvironment, prenatal stressors and drug intake. Social isolation and immigration related to socialadversity, racial discrimination, family dysfunction, unemployment, and poor housing conditionsalso play a crucial role in the development of this disorder. Childhood factors like sexual abuseand any trauma can result in schizophrenia in the adulthood.A number of drugs namely cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines also contribute in the
  3. 3. development of schizophrenia. Individuals suffering from schizophrenia normally consume drugsin order to cope up with depression, loneliness, boredom and anxiety. Cannabis is generallyassociated with increasing the risk of development of a psychotic disorder. Frequent use of thisdrug generally doubles the risk of getting affected with schizophrenia and psychosis. Excessiveintake of cocaine and amphetamine can also increase the risk of schizophrenia. Other factors likehypoxia and infection, stress or malnutrition in the mother during fetal development can somewhatincrease the risk of schizophrenia in the baby in later stages of life. Studies have indicated that thepeople suffering from schizophrenia are generally born in the months of winter and spring and areat the risk of getting infected with viral diseases more frequently. The percentage of suchindividuals varies from 5-8%.Signs and SymptomsAn individual diagnosed with schizophrenia may complain of hallucinations, delusions,disorganized thinking and speech. Disorganized speech includes loss of ability to speak clearsentences. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dressing and hygiene, loss of motivation andjudgment power are common in schizophrenia. Loss of responsiveness and impairment in socialcognition are very common in this disorder. Social isolation is the symptom of paranoia. Theperson may become mute, may show purposeless agitation showing signs of catatonia. Lateadolescence and early adulthood are the peak periods at which an individual is at higher risk ofgetting affected with schizophrenia. Data have shown that in 40% of men and 23% of women thesymptoms of schizophrenia generally arise at the age of 19.Positive and negative symptoms of SchizophreniaSchizophrenia is often defined in terms of positive and negative symptoms. The positivesymptoms of the disease are normally not experienced by the victim but are present within thebody of the patient and may remain unnoticed. These symptoms comprise tactile, auditory,gustatory, visual and olfactory hallucinations that are typically regarded as expressions ofpsychosis. Delusions and disordered thoughts and speech are other symptoms. These positivesymptoms can be well treated with medication. The negative symptoms include loss of normalemotional responses or other thought responses and are difficult to be treated with medication.The other negative symptoms include blunted affect and emotion, poverty of speech, the desire toform relationships is lost, lack of motivation and inability to experience pleasure. The negativesymptoms worsen the life of the victim and are a burden on the patient.Mechanisms associated with schizophreniaA number of studies have been carried out to find out the link between altered brain function andschizophrenia. The most commonly agreed hypothesis is the dopamine hypothesis whichemphasizes that schizophrenia is the result of misfiring of the dopaminergic neurons. A number ofpsychological interpretations are also thought be responsible for the development of this disorder.Cognitive biases have been identified exclusively in the conditions of confusion and stress. Somecognitive features may lead to memory loss. Recent studies have indicated that the patients ofschizophrenia are emotionally responsive to stressful conditions as well as to negative stimuli andsuch symptoms may worsen the state of the victim. Delusional beliefs and psychotic experiencesmay also make the condition of the patient poor.The diagnosis of schizophrenia indicates changes in both brain structure and brain chemistry.Studies using the neurophysiological tests and brain imaging techniques like fMRI and PET have
  4. 4. shown functional changes in the brain activity especially of the frontal lobes, temporal lobes andhippocampus. Changes in the brain volume particularly of the frontal cortex and the temporallobes have been noticed. Since the neural circuits are altered, schizophrenia is sometimesconsidered as a collection of neuro-developmental disorders. While dealing with the mechanism ofthis disorder much consideration is given to the function of dopamine in the meso-limbic pathwayof brain. This focus has largely resulted from the accidental finding that the phenothiazine drugsbear the potential of blocking the dopamine function so can help to diminish the psychoticsymptoms. It is also supported by the fact that amphetamines which trigger dopamine release canintensify psychotic symptoms. The dopamine hypothesis points out that excessive release of theD2 receptors are the actual cause of schizophrenia.In the present scenario much focus is centered on the neurotransmitter glutamate and reducedfunction of NMDA glutamate receptor in schizophrenia. The post-mortem of brains of patients ofschizophrenia has shown abnormally low levels of glutamate receptors and glutamate blockingdrugs can enhance cognitive problems. Reduction in the activity of glutamate can also affect theactivity of frontal lobes and the hippocampus. Dopamine function is also known to be affected dueto reduction in glutamate activity. Positive symptoms however, fail to respond to the glutamatergicmedication.DiagnosisAt present there is no definite test available that can assure that a particular person is sufferingfrom schizophrenia. The health practitioners gather information from the medical, family andmedical-health backgrounds in order to diagnose this disorder. The practitioner can also performsome sort of physical tests in order to check the symptoms of this disorder. The medicalexamination includes some lab tests in order to get an idea of the patients health. Mental healthprofessionals deal with the symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, depression, anxiety orphysical abuse. Some symptoms of schizophrenia can also occur in other disorders like thebipolar disorder, anxiety disorder and personality disorder. Any disorder associated with abnormalbehavior, mood or thinking for example borderline personality disorder or dissociative identitydisorder (DID) commonly known as multiple personality disorder (MPD) are generally difficult to bedistinguished from schizophrenia. The mental-health professionals can also perform mental testexaminations. Patients of schizophrenia are at elevated risk of getting affected with anxiety ordepression disorder and of committing suicide.MedicationsA number of treatments are yet available but medication plays a key role in treating schizophrenia.These medications are known as anti-psychotics as they reduce the intensity of the psychoticsymptoms. Many health care professionals prescribe a combined dose of these medications alongwith the psychiatric drugs in order to provide benefit to the patient. Medications that are beneficialin dealing with the positive symptoms of this disorder are olanzapine, risperidone, quetiapine,paliperidone and asinapine. These drugs are also known as second generation anti-psychotics.These drugs act faster in comparison to the psychiatric medications. These anti-psychotic drugsalso suffer from some side effects including dizziness, sleepiness and increased appetite. Weightgain, high blood sugar levels, increased blood lipid levels and sometimes higher level of prolactinhormone have been noticed. The medications that are useful in treating the symptoms ofschizophrenia may not be equally effective in treating the symptoms of the disorder in childhood.Mood stabilizer medications like lithium, carbamazepine and lamotrigine can be used to deal with
  5. 5. mood fluctuations in addition to psychotic symptoms. These medications take a longer time toshow their effect in addition to the anti-psychotic drugs. These drugs can cause birth defects iftaken by pregnant women. Antidepressant medications can be taken in order to deal withdepression in schizophrenia. The common antidepressants are serotonergic medications thataffect the serotonin levels and the common examples are fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram andduloxetine. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a better option for the patients who showinadequate result while treating with medication trials as well as psychosocial interventions. Whiledealing with pregnant women with schizophrenia the health professions become more cautiousand take extra care of the patient. Some medications can increase the risk of damage to fetus andduring breast feeding so the health professionals try to overcome these factors.Educating the family members about the symptoms, course and treatment of schizophrenia comesunder the category of psycho-education. This tool includes family support, problem solving skillsand help from care-providers at the time of crisis. This intervention has given better results ifcontinued for several months as it decreases the problems associated with emotional and socialstresses. The burden over the family members is also reduced as with the help of health expertsthe family relationship of the patient also improves. Assertive community treatment (ACT) isanother intervention which consists of meeting of the health experts with the patient in communitysettings rather than home or home. The team of health professionals is made up of a variety ofexperts for example, a psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, employment counselor and substanceabused counselor. This tool is helpful in the treatment of patients who are either hospitalized orbecome homeless. Medical and psychosocial interventions focusing on substance abuse areintegral part of treatment that specifically deals with the patients of schizophrenia. According to anestimate about 50% patients of schizophrenia suffer from some kind of substance abuse ordependence.Social skill training is another important tool that teaches e important skills to the patients so thatthey can handle social situations easily. This treatment is helpful for the patients that resist usingdrugs. Supported employment provides support like a work coach, interviewing for jobs andeducation and support for the employers to hire individuals with chronic medical illness. Thistreatment helps the patients to work for prolong hours. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a realitybased intervention that helps a client to deal with all the problems that interfere with his or herability to interact with others. This tool helps to improve social relationships of the individual. Thisintervention can be performed individually or in group sessions. By educating the patients aboutthe side effects of the anti-psychotic drugs the body weight of the patient can be managed.PrognosisAccording to a report presented in 2011 about 24 million people are suffering from schizophrenia.This disorder occurs 1.4 times more frequently in males as compared to that in females. The peakages for the onset of symptoms of the disorder are 20-28 years for males and 26-32 for females.The onset of the symptoms of the disorder is generally rare in childhood but may arise in laterstages. The percentage of occurrence of schizophrenia varies in different nations. The patients areat a double risk of death than the normal individuals. Almost half of the patients suffer fromsubstance abuse during their lifetime.Current statusCognitive remediation is in use now-a-days as it helps the individuals with schizophrenia to dealwith the cognitive problems. Vocational rehabilitation deals with increasing the efficiency of the
  6. 6. patient to deal with social situations. Peer-to-peer treatment is a promising intervention as it helpsthe individuals of schizophrenia to develop constructive involvement. More research is required todeal with the weight management problems.Navodita MauriceArticle Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Navodita_Maurice==== ====For Great Schizophrenia Relief Tips Check This Outhttp://schizophrenia-blog.newrealitybegins.com==== ====