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BIOLOGICAL APPROACH
PHYSICAL CAUSES OF ABNORMAL
BEHAVIOUR
GENETIC INHERITANCE- ABNORMALITIES OF THE BRAIN CAN SOMETIMES
BE CAUSED BY GENETIC INHERITENCE ( PASSED FROM PARENT TO CHILD)
WE CAN INVESTIGATE THIS THROUGH THE STUDY OF TWINS BY
COMPARING THE DIFFERENCE IN CONCORDANCE RATES( THE
LIKELIHOOD THAT BOTH TWINS WILL HAVE THE DISORDER)
THERE IS A HIGHER CONCORDANCE RATE FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA AMONG
MZ TWINS (48%) THAN AMONG DZ TWINS (17%)
THIS MEANS THAT IF ONE OF THE MZ TWINS HAS SCHIZOPHRENIA THERE
IS A 48% CHANCE THAT THE OTHER TWIN WILL ALSO HAVE THIS
DISORDER.…read more

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GENES- HAVE 2 KEY FUNCTIONS:
1.) THEY DETERMINE THE LEVELS OF HORMONES AND
NUEROTRANSMITTERS IN THE BRAIN (BIOCHEMISTRY)
IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT HIGH LEVELS OF THE NEUROTRANSMITTER,
SEROTONIN, IS ASSOCIATED WITH ANXIETY
WHEREAS LOW LEVELS CAN BE ASSOCIATED WITH DEPRESSION
2.) THEY DETERMINE THE STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN (NEUROANATOMY)
SCHIZOPHRENICS HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO HAVE ENLARGED SPACES IN
THEIR BRAINS- SHRINKAGE OF BRAIN TISSUE.…read more

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VIRAL INFECTIONS
SCHIZOPHRENIA MAY BE RELATED TO THE EXPOSURE TO A
SPECIFIC VIRAL INFECTION IN THE WOMB
TORREY 2001 SHOWED THAT THE MOTHERS OF ANY
SCHIZOPHRENICS HAD CONTRACTED A SPECIFIC STRAIN OF
INFLUENZA WHILST PRENGNANT, WHICH COULD HAVE ENTERED
THE UNBORN'S BRAIN, WHERE IS REMAINS DORMANT UNTIL
PUBERTY.…read more

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PHYSICAL CAUSES OF
ABNORMALITY
BRAIN DAMAGE ­ ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR MAY BE THE RESULT OF DAMAGE TO THE
STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN. ALZHIEMER'S (A FORM OF DIMENTIA) IS A COMMON
DISORDER CAUSED BY BRAIN DAMAGE DUE TO MALFORMATION OF THE BRAIN OR
LOSS OF BRAIN CELLS
BIOCHEMISTRY- ONE CAUSE OF ABNORMALITIES COULD BE THAT
NUEROTRANSMITTERS ARE NOT BALANCED IN THE NERVOUS SYSTEM. THIS COULD
THEREFORE LEAD TO PYSCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS SUCH AS SCHIZOPHRENIA.
SCHIZOPHRENIA HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH EXCESS ACTIVITY OF THE
NEUROTRANSMITTER, DOPAMINE.
HORMONES- PEOPLE WITH DEPRESSION HAVE BEEN FOUND TO HAVE HIGHER
LEVELS OF CORTISOL THAN NORMAL.…read more

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STRENGTHS OF THE BIOLOGICAL
APPROACH
Concrete EVIDENCE from brain scans that abnormal brain function can cause mental
illness=scientific credibility. Most scientific and thus testable approach.
RESEARCH INTO BEHAVIOURAL GENETICS HAS IDENTIFIED A GENETIC, OR INHERITED,
COMPONENT IN MANY PSYCHOPATHOLGIES, SUCH AS SCHIZOPHRENIA, BIPOLAR ETC
DRUG TREATMENTS- BASED ON BIOLOGICAL MODEL, TARGETS THE BIOLOGICAL
BASES OF DISORDERS AND CAN BE VERY EFFECTIVE IN CONDITIONS SUCH AS
DEPRESSION/ANXIETY ETC
NO BLAME- A DIAGNOSIS OF MENTAL ILLNESS IMPLIES THAT THE PERSON IS NOT
RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ABNORMAL BEHAVIOUR. THE CONCEPT OF `NO BLAME' IS
THOUGHT TO BE HUMANE AND LIKELY ELICIT A SYMPATHETIC REPSONSE.…read more

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