Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia

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Biological Explanations

  • Genetic Factors
  • Family Studies
  • individuals are found who are investigated if their biological relatives are similarly affective.
  • Schizphrenia is more common among biological relatives of a person with schizophrenia, closer the degree of genetic relatedness, the greater the risk. 
  • Children with two schizophrenic parents have a concordance rate of 46%
  • Twin Studies
  • Offer researchers to discover the evironmental and genetic value. 
  • Concordance rate for monozygotic twins of 40.4% with schizophrenia - for dizygotic twins 7.4%. 
  • methodologically sound studies have reported a lower concordance rate for monozygotic twins yet it is still argued that these support the genetic position. 
  • Adoption Studies
  • Tienari in Finland founfd of 164 adoptees  whos biological mothers were diagnosed with schizophrenia 11 also recieved a diagnosis compared to 4 out of 197 control adoptees.
  • Investigators concluded that these findings showed that the genetic liability to schizophrenia had been decisiviely confirmed. 
  • Dopamine Hypothesis
  • Dopamine is one of many neurotransmitters that operates in the brain that states the messages from neurons rhat transmit dopamine fire too easily or too often.
  • Schizphrenics are likely to have abnormally high numbers of D2 Receptiors. Resulting in more dopamine binding and more neurons firing. 
  • Dopamine neurons are key in guiding attention.
  • Key role by dopamine in schizophrenia was highlighted in three sources of evidence
  • Amphetamines
  • dopamine agonist, stiulating nerve cells containgng dopamine. Causing the synapse to be flooded with this neurotransmitter.
  • Large doses can cause the characteristic hallucinations and delusions of a schizophrenic episode.
  • Antipsychotic Drugs
  • All antipsychotics have blocking the activity og dopamine in


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