Biological approach of abnormality

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  • Created on: 11-01-13 07:24
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Biological approach:
Brain structure
Infection or injury
Brain structure:
In schizophrenic patients they found that the gap between their
ventricles in the brain were much bigger than a normal persons,
this suggests that the space is the cause of the schizophrenia,
which is an abnormality.
Infection or injury:
Accidental brain damage can cause psychological disorders to
form. Other disorders can be caused by infections such as
general paresis, which causes delusions, and mood swings it can
also lead to paralysis and death.
This can include drugs and alcohol; they change the personality of
a person either temporarily or permanently. Too much or too
little of certain neurotransmitters can cause psychological
issues, for example too much dopamine has been linked to
schizophrenia, also drugs such as cocaine cause schizophrenic
symptoms. Alcohol usually only changes a persons personality
when it is in their body.
Faulty genes can cause psychological problems to be passed
through a family e.g. Huntington's disease, which leads to the
deterioration of mental abilities. This would also involve twins,
and whether they are identical or non-identical twins, and how
this affects their likelihood of both having a disease or
psychological problem.
Studies and Case studies:
McGuffin- did a study using both identical and non-identical
twins, he found 20% of non-identical twins both had depression
and 46% of identical twins had depression.
Gottesman- did a meta-analysis of 40 studies using both
identical and non-identical twins; he found 17% of non-identical
twins both had schizophrenia whereas 48% of identical twins
both had schizophrenia.
Torrey- found pregnant women who catch the flu within the
first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a child who
is born with schizophrenia
Phineas gage- had an accident work and damaged his frontal
lobes; this caused his personality to change

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Research methods:
- Brain scans (fmri and pet)
- Scientific case studies
- Correlation studies
- Experiments
Evaluation of biological approach:
+VE ­ explains genetic problems, makes it useful for
further research into other disorders such as dyslexia,
and could help recovery of these disorders
+VE ­ brain scans have improved our ability to see
biological components
+VE ­ supported by research
+VE ­ can use drugs as treatment options
-VE ­ genetics cannot be helped; therefore people may
not take responsibility for their actions…read more

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The person feels less anxious and
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT): used for severely
depressed people and people on suicide watch, usually
drugs have not been effective for them. Has a quick
result.…read more

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BZ's were introduced to replace
another drug which was found to be addictive and
only recently has the problems with BZ's becoming
addictive has occurred, even in patients with low
doses. Ashton found this and has suggested they
only be taken for a maximum of 4 weeks.
-VE ­ Drugs can also come with side effects, BB's
have no direct side effects but they have been
linked with an increased risk of developmental
diabetes.…read more

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VE ­ ECT can cause possible physical side effects
and some cases psychological. Datto found it can
cause impaired memory, cardiovascular changes
and headaches. The DOH report found 30% of
patients who received treatment in the past 2
years suffered from permanent fear and anxiety.…read more


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