Heredity and schizophrenia physiological factors in

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Heredity and Schizophrenia
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Physiological Factors in Physiological Factors in Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Biochemistry -- dopamine hypothesis (excessive dopamine activity) Effective drugs (phenothiazines) reduce dopamine activity by blocking receptor sites. L-dopa (treats Parkinson disease) -- body converts it to dopamine, and this can produce schizophrenia-like symptoms. Extensive amphetamine use (which increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels) mimic paranoid SZ symptoms. Problems: Sizeable minority (25 percent) of schizophrenics unresponsive to drugs; effectiveness of 2 nd generation anti- psychotics (works on serotonin system) implicates other neurotransmitters in etiology of SZ.
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Physiological Factors Physiological Factors in Schizophrenia in Schizophrenia Neurological findings: 20-75% of schizophrenics show neurological abnormalities (depends on study). Ventricular enlargement, smaller cortical structures (e.g., hippocampal and medial temporal lobes), decreased size of thalamus, abnormalities in prefrontal cortex Rapid loss of gray brain matter over time for early-onset schizophrenia Structural characteristics of SZs may involve problems in connectivity among brain regions resulting in dysfunctional information processing .
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Environmental Factors in Environmental Factors in Schizophrenia Schizophrenia Infections or birth complication during fetal period a possibility – disrupts normal development. Negative family environments: Prospective studies found that high-risk children with negative family relations more likely to develop SZ than those with positive relations or positive parenting experiences. Environment a contributor to development in SZ but only for high-risk individuals.
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Expressed emotion index -- critical comments (criticism), dislike or resentment (hostility), and overconcern or overprotectiveness (emotional overinvolvement). EE associated with higher relapse rates in SZ. May be effect rather than cause of disorder (bidirectional) – SZ cause high EE which causes more stress and more severe symptoms of SZ. Not pathognomonic for schizophrenia, found in families of depressed, eating disorders patients – may be result of chronic illness and stress of caring for ill person; more evident in Western societies.
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Environmental Factors in Environmental Factors in Schizophrenia Schizophrenia
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Christopher Reinemann
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