Discuss the biological explanation for schizophrenia- ESSAY PLAN

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Discuss the biological explanation for schizophrenia
Essay Plan
Concordance Rates: > MZ= 48%, DZ= 17%, supports biological explanation showing that the
more closely related a person is to someone with schizophrenia, the
greater the risk (could highlight importance of twin studies here)
> DZ concordance rate unexpected due to sibling concordance rate only
10% shared environment, same age, shared womb
Viral Connection: > Possible explanation for high DZ concordance rate as a result of shared
> Prebirth exposure to the influenza A flu virus
> Support high peaks in schizophrenia diagnosis correspond with major flu
epidemics occurring at the time those individuals were in uteri
Studies of Relatives: > As shown by concordance rates the more closely related relatives are
the person with schizophrenia, the greater the risk genetic makeup
> Repeatedly supported by studies
> Closer related relatives often live together so family members are
exposed to the same environmental influences and a stressful
environment schizoid personality disorder
Adoption Studies: > Allows researchers to rule out these environmental factors similarities
between the adopted child and biological parents would indicate
> Kety et al Out of a sample of 5,500 Denmark adoptees (generalisation),
developed schizophrenia and were matched to a control group of 33.
that 37 (mostly biological) out of 365 traced parents had schizophrenic
symptoms supports genetic explanation
Dopamine Hypothesis: > Proposes the nervous system produces too much dopamine
> More recent research now suggests normal dopamine levels but too
many D2 receptors greater synaptic activity
> Support antipsychotic medication reduced symptoms but patients
developed parkinsonian symptoms low dopamine levels
Ldopa used to treat Parkinson patients by increasing
dopamine levels, causes schizophrenic symptoms if dosage
too high
Amphetamine psychosis if amphetamines are taken for a
long period time, individuals can develop amphetamine
psychosis of which the symptoms closely mimic
amphetamines increase dopamine levels
Abnormal Brain Structures: > As scanning techniques have advanced, it has been found that
many schizophrenics have enlarged ventricles (brain cavities

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Appears at the onset of the treatment before treatment not
not caused by medication
> Type 2 schizophrenics, don't respond well to medication
different causes for the each type (1= D2, 2= enlarged
> Suddath et al (to investigate discordant twin pairs for structural
abnormalities using MRI) found that in 14/15 twin pairs, the
with schizophrenia had a smaller hippocampus and enlarged
ventricles supports hypothesis but small sample size, cause
and effect issues
> People with these brain abnormalities can never develop…read more


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