Aetiologies of Schizophrenia

A table of 3 of the many texplanations of schizophrenia

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Explanation Type Assumptions For The Argument Against The Argument
Neurochemical Explanation It could be THE DOPAMINE HYPOTHESIS- It is thought that Barlow and Durand= Have found a
argued that, schizophrenia may be caused by excessively high number of issues in the dopamine
genetic factors levels of dopamine (a neurotransmitter). This hypothesis:
may lead to causes the receptors to send too m any messages
differences in leading to an overload. This is the explanation ofNeuroleptic drugs act quickly to block
brain chemistry schizophrenia. dopamine but don't educe symptoms
that could be a don't go as quickly. This is strange
direct casual DRUG THERAPY- some drugs such as phenothiazine especially if high levels caused the
factor in that blocks dopamine seem to reduce some of the problem in the first place.
schizophrenia. symptoms especially the positive symptoms. This
supports the notion that there are 2 forms of Clozapine refutes evidence supporting
schizophrenia. Another drug L- dopa increases this. Research has found it does help
dopamine levels and has produced many of the those with schizophrenia drastically.
symptoms associated with schizophrenia. However, it is less successful at blocking
dopamine. If dopamine was the issue
PARKINSON'S DISEASE-Parkinson's sufferers have then it shouldn't have lessened the
lower dopamine levels and endure symptoms such symptoms as much as they did. Barlow
as uncontrollable movements in their limbs. These et al believe dopamine and serotonin
symptoms are also found in schizophrenics who are involved in schizophrenia, clozapine
have been given neuroleptic drugs to reduce blocks both.
dopamine.
We still have no conclusive evidence
that chemical balances have an effect on
schizophrenia.
Behavioural Explanation Some believe BEHAVIOURAL THERAPIES- Schizophrenics can re- It clearly ignores the hard evidence
that punishment learn behaviour via reward systems. In asylums, given from genetic explanations. It also

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Eysenck
of a child's life etc. when they perform the most basic of tasks believes this is demonstrated in the
can lead to them such as making the bed or personal hygiene. It has following anecdote; " I was thinking of
to withdraw from shown that sufferers can live normal lives and a patient... who kept his finger up his
reality and join respond well to reinforcement arse to `keep his thoughts from
their own running out' while with his other hand
rewarding world.…read more

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This diagnosis of schizophrenia has become
runs in families or shows that there is a genetic role in schizophrenia harder or easier over the last 50 years.
that some inherit as 1% chance of getting it if there is nothing in the This makes it difficult to come to a solid
a susceptibility to genes. Kendler found that you're 18x more likely conclusion.
the disorder to get schizophrenia if a first degree relative has it
than if you don't.…read more

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