Randrup and Munkvad (1966) - Schizophrenia research

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Aim

The aim of this study was to see if Schizophrenia-like symptoms could be induced in non-human animals

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Procedure

It was an animal, laboratory experiment using Amphetamines - to induce symptoms of Schizophrenia. They worsen the symptoms by releasing Dopamine at the central Synapses. Rats were injected with doses of 1-20mg of Amphetamines.

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Results

All known Schizophrenic symptoms were reported, including stereotypical activity.

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Conclusions

Experiments with a number of different animals show stereotypical Schizophrenic activity can be produced by Amphetamines. This supports the theory that Dopamine contributes to Schizophrenia -(The Dopamine Hypothesis).

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Evaluation

+ Symptoms were reversed when rats were given Neuroleptic drugs which work by inhibiting Dopamine activity

+ Synthetic L-Dopa increases Schizophrenic symptoms and can induce symptoms without actually having Schizophrenia

+ PET Scans showed similar findings in live patients (Wong et al - 1986)

- Reductionist explanation 

- Ethics and Generalisability (Animal experiment so cannot be generalised to humans; Rats may have been put under some pain)

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