biological - dopamine hypothesis evaluation

  • Created by: Elyseee
  • Created on: 15-01-21 14:33
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  • dopamine hypothesis evaluation
    • dopamine imbalances may be caused by genes
      • What causes dopamine imbalances?
      • Twin and family studies indicate there is some genetic basis for schizophrenia
      • Gottesman et al 1991 - incidence of schizophrenia in cousins, grandchildren, half-siblings, parents, siblings, non-identical and identical twins. As genetic similarity increased, so did probability of both individuals having schizophrenia
    • measuring metabolites
      • Not easy to make measurements of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, most research to support dopamine hypothesis is metabolite research
      • To assess neurotransmitters levels we need to measure metabolite levels in cerebrospinal fluid
      • Dopamine is metabolised into HVA, this is measured in cerebrospinal fluid (obtained from lumbar puncture)
      • Diet and drug use may also affect metabolite levels
      • Even research conducted can be difficult to interpret, HVA levels vary widely between participants
      • Suggests until we have refined procedures from measuring neurotransmitters, we should be careful when drawing conclusions from metabolite research
    • role of serotonin
      • Serotonin identified as potential influence
      • Conventional antipsychotics have worked by blocking D2 receptors, not beneficial to all those with schizophrenia
      • Newer antipsychotics eg)clozapine, block D2 receptor and 5-HT2A serotonin receptor
      • Doesn’t suggest dopamine hypothesis is wrong, suggests it cannot explain schizophrenia on its own, it is a partial explanation
    • cause and effect
      • Could be posed that schizophrenia causes dopamine imbalances (instead of vice versa) - is it another symptom of schizophrenia?
      • When research becomes less invasive we will be able to establish which comes first
      • Copolov and Crook 2000 - research using PET scans, not yet able to detect difference in dopamine activity between those with and without schizophrenia


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