What causes schizophrenia?


What causes schizophrenia is something that most people want to know. Scientist has long believed that this mental condition is a hereditary issue which runs in families. The condition is recorded in 1 percent population; however, out of all people who have first degree relative with the condition, 10 percent people are believed to be affected. First degree relative may include brother, sister, mother and father. People who have second degree relatives such as cousins, aunts, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, etc with this condition are also at risk of developing schizophrenia, but at relatively lesser risk as compared to people with first degree schizophrenia patients. Twins are at 40 to 65 percent greater risk of developing the condition if any one of them is affected.

Scientists also believe that inheritance of genes is associated with the condition. In fact, what causes schizophrenia is not certain in regards to genes but genes does not cause the condition by itself. It is recently recorded that schizophrenia patients have a tendency of higher rate of seldom genetic mutations. This mutation involves numerous genes and perhaps leads to hindrance to brain development of brain. Other studies indicate that the condition may cause in certain regions when relative gene which is important for making crucial chemical of brain gets affected. This may also influence the portion of the brain that is involved in developing function skills. There are experiments as well as researches going to indentify gene related causes of schizophrenia, but until confirmed reports are achieved it is not possible to use genetic information to predict whether a child will be afflicted with the disorder.

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There are tests that can be adopted without the need of doctor’s prescription or advice from a health care professional. You may come across ads that claim to provide reports and help you determine whether you are at risk of developing any diseases or even schizophrenia. However, scientists are not certain about gene variations that cause the condition. Those genetic variations that are known to serve as a factor of risk of schizophrenia, contribute to the condition insignificantly. Hence, such ‘genome scans’ are not effective in providing comprehensive report of risk factor of getting afflicted with this psychological disorder.

What causes schizophrenia is not only genes but it may mo re than that. Scientists also believe that along with genetic issues it is also the environmental aspects that may add to the cause of the condition. These environmental factors may include exposure to viruses, pre- birth malnutrition, difficulties during delivery of baby as well as there are other psychological factors that are not discovered.

Chemistry and structural factors of brain causes schizophrenia:

Scientists are researching about brain chemistry as well as structure that may add to factors causing schizophrenia. It is also believed by the experts that chemical imbalance involving intricate reaction of neurotransmitters, glutamate and dopamine etc may play a significant role in leading to this mental disorder. Neurotransmitters are chief substances that enable brains cells to communicate to one another. Since, there are possibilities that these factor may serve as factor causing schizophrenia scientists are engaged in finding what causes schizophrenia in regards with brain chemicals and structure.

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It is also identified that brain of people affected with this mental disorder are slightly different as compared to normal individuals; this can be detected just by looking at their skull as it may be little deformed. For example, ventricles (cavities filled with fluid) in the middle of the brain, are larger in some people with affliction of schizophrenia. Such people may also have lesser grey matter as compared to normal individual as well as some portion of the brain may show less activity as compared to other parts.

Studies conducted to examine the brain tissues of death schizophrenic individual indicated that there is difference between brain of normal individual and schizophrenia patient. Scientists, during this study, have discovered that there are some differences in characteristics which supposedly have occurred prior to birth. These problems may not be experienced until puberty as it is during puberty period that brain undergoes major changes which may cause psychotic symptoms. Though there are numerous researches conducted in the medical industry related to schizophrenia but more research is required to provide a detail explanation on what causes schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia treatment

There is no confirmed, complete cure for schizophrenia; hence the treatment of schizophrenia focuses on alleviating the symptoms of the condition. Treatments are only targeted in treating symptoms of the condition as the factors causing the issue are uncertain. Most conventional treatment technique for treating the mental issues is antipsychotic medication. There are also some psychological therapies that can be adopted to alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia.

Antipsychotic medicines for schizophrenia may include:

There are several antibiotic medications that can be suggested to a schizophrenic patients, these medications may include:

• Chlorpromazine

• Haloperidol

• Perphenazine

• Fluphenazine

In 1990s additional antipsychotic medicines were discovered; these medicines are also known as second generation antipsychotics or even atypical antipsychotics. One of the most efficacious medicine is ‘clozapine’ which potentially treats symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations, anxiety etc. However, clozapine may also lead to severe issues such as agranulocytosis; wherein white blood cells (important for fighting infections) get reduced significantly. The issue and expenses of tests makes it difficult for people to treat the condition caused due to clozapine. Apart from this the medicine is helpful for most people with schizophrenia who did not obtain any benefit from other medicines.

Apart from medicines there are psychological therapies that may also help in alleviating the symptoms of schizophrenia. One of the techniques for treating this psychological disorder may include illness management skill wherein the affected individual is taught to manage their own illness. This enables the patient to make decision in regards to their care. There are other psychological therapies such as, substance abuse, rehabilitation, education for family members, self help techniques etc. These techniques may help in improving the mental disorder. At the same time it should be remembered that there is no complete cure for the condition as the treatment would be effective only after understanding certainly what causes schizophrenia.


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