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Schizophrenia Revision Notes

Clinical Characteristics of Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia is characterised by a profound disruption of cognition and emotion, which
affects a person's language, thought, perception and sense of self.
Schneider (1959) identified the first rank symptoms of Schizophrenia. These are now called Type 1
symptoms and are positive symptoms. This…

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Issues Surrounding the Classification and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia:


When diagnosing a mental disorder, there is no objective laboratory test. It is subjective
interpretation by the psychiatrist. The classifications system used by the psychiatrists is only
useful if they agree consistently about a particular diagnosis. An ideal classification system
would be…

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Two Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia:
There are more than two biological explanations but you only need to know two in great detail.
However, acknowledge that others exist (such as viral infections and the neuroanatomical
explanation) as you can use them for comparison/evaluation.




1. Neurochemical:
The dopamine hypothesis is based on…

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2. Genetics:
This is based on the idea that the development of the body, including the brain, is
heavily determined by genetics.
It assumes that most behaviours, whether seen as `normal' or not, are considered to
be inherited from the genes or the parents.
This suggests that relatives of people…

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Evaluations:

+ There is a lot of supporting evidence for the theory from multiple sources, all suggesting
that genetics play a key role in causing schizophrenia.
+ The explanation has allowed those with schizophrenic relatives to be tested and treated
early due to the knowledge of a genetic predisposition.
Twins…

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Biological Treatments of Schizophrenia:
1. Antipsychotic Drugs ­ you need to know this one well!
There are two types ­ traditional antipsychotic drugs and modern antipsychotic drugs.
Traditional Antipsychotic Drugs:
Based on the medical model ­ biochemical theory i.e. dopamine hypothesis.
The first drugs, neuroleptics were first introduced in the…

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Side effects:

There are less serious side effects such as a dry mouth, low blood pressure and dizziness, blurred
vision and sexual dysfunction.

More serious and less frequent side effects include acute dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions),
tardive dyskinesia (abnormal muscle movements), akathisia (inability to remain still) and finally,
neuroleptic malignant…

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Other Biological Treatments ­ you don't need to know a lot about these!
2. ECT ­ Electroconvulsive Therapy
Developed by Cerletti and Bini (1938)
Involves sending an electric impulse to induce a seizure in anesthetized patients for
therapeutic effect.
+ The therapy can be successful at reducing catatonia (a symptom…

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Two Psychological Explanations of Schizophrenia:
There are more than two psychological explanations but you only need to know two in great
detail. However, acknowledge that others exist (such as family relations and the cognitive
explanation) as you can use them for comparison/evaluation.


1. Psychodynamic
Schizophrenia is a thought process disorder…

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It is deterministic in that in overemphasises how childhood experiences are related to an
adult's behaviour.
Freud's psychodynamic theory = a critique of science itself because we cannot prove that the
unconscious mind physically exists.




2. Behavioural
This explanation argues that apart from a few innate reflexes, behaviour is learned…

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MrsMacLean

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This is really clear and detailed. Thanks 

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