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Introduction to Schizophrenia:
Schizophrenia means split mind because there is a loss of contact with reality, disturbances of thought process and
emotion/behaviour. In order to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, you have to meet certain criteria using diagnostic
tools: the DSM-IV (American psychiatric association) and ICD-10 (World Health Organisation). There are two types of
symptoms: positive and negative symptoms.…read more

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Reliability is the extent to which different psychiatrists can agree on the same diagnosis when assessing patients. The
existence of classification systems is claimed to lead to increased agreement in diagnosis of schizophrenia. However
as there is more than one classification systems used in different parts of the world, the ways in which disorders are
described may be different which creates problems in assessing reliability.
1. Inter-rater reliability: the extent to which different psychiatrists agree on the same diagnosis of an individual.…read more

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One third of patients will have a few acute episodes and then
make a full recovery, one third will have periodic acute episodes throughout their life followed by a period of
remission, and the final third will show progressive deterioration with drugs only helping sometimes.
a. Malmberg et al (1998) said that gender was a better tool for predicting the outcome of diagnosis for
example; young men have a better chance of making a full recovery than women diagnosed with the
disorder during middle age.…read more

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Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia:
Genetic Factors:
It is likely that schizophrenia can be passed on from parents to their children via genes. Genetic studies involve family
studies, adoption studies and twin studies.
1. Family Studies: looks at those with schizophrenia and determines whether their biological relatives a similarly
affected more so than non-biological relatives
a. Kendler et al (1985) found that 1st degree relatives of those with schizophrenia are 18 times more likely to
develop schizophrenia than the general population
b.…read more

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DZ twins. The results are correlations which
means that a cause and effect relationship can't be established
o Instead of stating whether schizophrenia is as a result of nature or nurture, we can combine the two using
the diathesis-stress model, where individuals have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia but will only
develop it if exposed to a stressful situation.…read more

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Biological Therapies for Schizophrenia:
Antipsychotic Medication:
Antipsychotic drugs block the action of neurotransmitter that bring about the symptoms of schizophrenia (block the
effect of dopamine) and helps the individual to function more effectively. There are two types of drugs: conventional
(used to primarily combat the positive symptoms) and atypical (also combat the positive symptoms but also have an
effect on the negative symptoms as well) antipsychotics.
1. Conventional antipsychotics: reduces the effects of dopamine (also reducing the symptoms).…read more

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This will result in producing a seizure which lasts up to one minute however, to
prevent fractures; the individual will be sedated and given a muscle relaxant before the treatment. This treatment is
required for around 3 to 15 times.
Tharyan and Adams (2005) conducted a meta-analysis of 26 studies looking at ECT and included an analysis of
placebo studies. They concluded that more people improved in the real condition rather than the placebo.…read more

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Psychological Explanations for Schizophrenia:
Psychodynamic Approach:
Freud believed that schizophrenia is as a result of regression to a pre-ego state and attempts to re-establish ego
control (prior to the ego developing, a child is ruled by the id (the selfish desires) so schizophrenia represents a
regression to this time). If a child has been brought up in a cold and uncaring environment, their ego will attempt to
protect them from the trauma this causes.…read more

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Frith (1992) said that cognitive deficits are caused by abnormalities in the areas of the brain that use dopamine and
showed that schizophrenics have reduced cerebral blood flow to these areas during certain cognitive tasks.
AO2 Evaluation Points:
Cause and Effect: individuals with schizophrenia clearly have disordered thinking but we aren't sure if this is a cause
of the disorder of a symptom of it.…read more


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