Aetiologies of Schizophrenia

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Genetic Vulnerability
schizophrenia is more common among family members of sufferers than others in the general population, the closer the genetics the closer the link.
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Varm et al
FDRs of 1,000 patients with schizophrenia and 1,000 controls, illness found in 16% of FDRs of schizophrenic patients compared to 7% of controls, suggests a link between genetics and schizophrenia.
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Joseph
Calculated pooled data for all schizophrenic twin studies carried out prior to 2001 showed a concordance rate for MZ twins of 40.4% compared to only 7.4% for DZ twins.
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Environmental influences
Wth genetic studies the environmental influences are often the same with the twins being reared in the same environment, making it difficult to distinguish between nature and nurture.
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Adoption Studies (Tienari et al)
Tienari et al,164 adoptees, biological mothers diagnosed with schizophrenia, 6.7% also received diagnosis of schizophrenia, compared to 2% of control adoptees born to non-schizophrenic mothers, adds support to links between genetics and schizophrenia
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Dopamine Hypothesis
Messages from dopamine transmitting neurons fire too easily/often,schizophrenic symptoms, abnormally high numbers of D2 receptors on receiving neurons, more dopamine binding and neurons firing, key role in guiding attention
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Lavendar
Evidence of whether dopamine is responsible is inconclusive as there is no consistent difference in dopamine levels between drug-free schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics.
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Lloyd
even if dopamine levels were a causative factor, it may be indirect (e.g. abnormal family circumstances giving rise to high levels triggering symptoms).
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Abnormal brain structure
enlarged ventricles in the brain (fluid filled cavities increase in size if size of brain decreases) PET, MRI and CAT scans,negative symptoms rather than positive symptoms of schizophrenia, smaller frontal lobes and reduced blood flow to the brain
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Berman et al
simple card sorting task,brain blood flow of around half of them reduced but increased in control participants, generating words when they have auditory hallucinations as the blood flow to the Broca’s area (speech) increases as they hallucinate.
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Bateson Double Bind
members of families of schizophrenics communicate in a destructively ambiguous fashion, e.g. mother will tell the child that she loves him, but in a tone of voice that does not suggest love,its how the mother interacts with the child that causes it
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Berger
schizophrenics reported a higher recall of double bind statements by their mothers than non-schizophrenics. However, this evidence may not be reliable because patients recall may be affected by their schizophrenia
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Expressed emotion
Family interactions play a role in maintaining symptoms of individuals who already suffer from schizophrenia. Families who engage in expressed emotion show high levels of criticism, hostility and emotional over protectiveness
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Kavanagh
families with high expressed emotion were four times more likely to relapse compared with those who live in families with low expressed emotion.
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Brown
relapse rates, 58% recovered schizophrenics homes with high expressed emotion relapsed, 10% returning to low expressed emotion homes relapsed suggests this to be a factor in recurrence of schizophrenia but not root cause
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Freud (1924) Two Processes
Regression to pre-ego stage & attempts to re-establish ego control. Childhood= ego defence. Infantile state, symptoms (e.g. delusions) reflect primitive condition others (e.g. auditory hallucinations) reflect attempts to re-establish ego control
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Not falsifiable
Cannot be proven right or wrong. Therefore, there is no research evidence to support his claims relating to schizophrenia.
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General evaluation
physiological illness which heavily supports nature side, that psychological factors influence the onset of schizophrenia and thus give some credit to the nurture side, diathesis-stress relationship.
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FDRs of 1,000 patients with schizophrenia and 1,000 controls, illness found in 16% of FDRs of schizophrenic patients compared to 7% of controls, suggests a link between genetics and schizophrenia.

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Varm et al

Card 3

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Calculated pooled data for all schizophrenic twin studies carried out prior to 2001 showed a concordance rate for MZ twins of 40.4% compared to only 7.4% for DZ twins.

Back

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Card 4

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Wth genetic studies the environmental influences are often the same with the twins being reared in the same environment, making it difficult to distinguish between nature and nurture.

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Card 5

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Tienari et al,164 adoptees, biological mothers diagnosed with schizophrenia, 6.7% also received diagnosis of schizophrenia, compared to 2% of control adoptees born to non-schizophrenic mothers, adds support to links between genetics and schizophrenia

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