AS AQA PSYA2 Psychology- Biological approach to Psychopathology

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  • Created by: Ruth Butt
  • Created on: 25-05-13 13:06

Also known as the Medical Model, this is the idea that mental disorders arise from the brain, central nervous system and its physical structure. 4 factors may cause malfunctioning:

  • Brain damage: Where part of the brain may be damaged physically, for example, Alzheimers disease is caused by a loss of cells in the the CNS. 
  • Infection: This can cause deterioration of brain cells, leading to mental health disorders. Torrey 2001 found mothers who caught the flu whilst pregnaunt had increased levels of schizophrenia in their children. It was therefore suggested that the virus entered the baby and remained dormant untill puberty, when activated by hormones.
  • Biochemistry: The availability of certain neurotransmitters is thought to cause mental disorders. For example, there is shown to be an increase in dopamine in schizophrenics, and a decrease of seretonin in people with depression.
  • Genes: Evidence from family twins and adoption studies show mental health disorders can be passed on genetically, e.g. if one identical twin…


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