bio explanations

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  • biological explanations of schizophrenia
    • genetic factors
      • family studies- schizo is more common among biological relatives. 2 parents 46%, 1 parent 13%, sibling 9%
        • A02-family studies- supports genes as explanation. twin studies- MZ twins are treated more similarly and experience more 'identity confusion'.
      • twin studies- if MZ twins are more similar in terms of schizo than DZ twins, this suggests a strong genetic influence for the disorder.
        • adoption studies- difficult to distinguish between genes and environment for those who share genes and environment
    • the dopamine hypothesis
      • schizo have high numbers of D2 dopamine receptors, neurons that transmit dopamine to easily or often, lead to symptoms
        • A02- post mortem studies- those with elevatated dopamine levels had received antipsy drugs shortly before death. evidence from neuroimaging - PET scans allowed researchers to investigate dopamine activity more precisley
      • evidence- amphetamines are dopamine agonists, large doses cause hallucinations and delusions
      • parkinsons disease- low levels of dopamine activity are found in people who suffer from parkinsons disease
    • methodological problems with heredity studies- most schizo adoption studies would not have found the differences they did without broadening the definition to 'schizophrenia spectrum disorders'


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