Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Esme
  • Created on: 03-03-15 15:15
What are 3 biological explanations of schizophrenia?
Genetics, brain biochemistry, brain structure and early development
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What is the definition of concordance rate?
The probability that if one person has a given disorder another one person also has the same disorder
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How are concordance rates useful biological explanations?
A high concordance rate suggests that a characteristic such as schizophrenia is related to genetics
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What is the concordance rate percentage of schizophrenia in the general population?
1%
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What is the concordance rate percentage of schizophrenia in monozygotic twins?
48%
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What is the concordance rate percentage of schizophrenia in the dizygotic twins?
17%
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Who carried out research involving concordance rates of schizophrenia between family members?
Gottesman (1991)
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What were the results of Gottesman's research?
Children with two schizophrenic parents: 46%, children with one schizophrenic parent: 13%, children with a schizophrenic sibling: 9%
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Who carried out a meta-analysis involving concordance rates of twin studies?
Joseph (2001)
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What were the results of Joseph's meta-analysis?
Monozygotic twins: just over 40%, dizygotic twins: just over 7%
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Who carried out research involving 164 adoptees with schizophrenic mothers in Finland?
Tienari (2000)
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What were the results of Tienari's research?
11 (6.7%) diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to 4 (2%) diagnosed in control group of adoptees with non-schizophrenic mothers
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Who carried out research involving schizophrenia and chromosome 5?
Sherrington (1988)
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What were the results of Sherrington's research?
A link between schizophrenia and an abnormality on chromosome 5
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Who carried out research involving schizophrenia and the TPH gene?
Hong (2001)
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What were the results of Hong's research?
A variation in the TPH gene significantly more common in Chinese patients with schizophrenia compared to a Chinese control
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How could environmental factors explain the greater concordance rates of schizophrenia between monozygotic compared to dizygotic twins?
Monozygotic twins are treated more similarly and experience more identity confusion
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What is a problem with using adoption studies to support genetic explanations of schizophrenia?
Not all mothers with schizophrenia have their babies adopted so it is unclear whether there was/is an unknown variable contributing to opting for adoption and the development schizophrenia by the mother and/or baby
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What is a problem with using concordance rates of monozygotic twins to support genetic explanations for schizophrenia?
Monozygotic twins share 100% of their genetics but do not have 100% concordance rates of schizophrenia
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Could the genetic explanations be criticised for being reductionist?
Yes
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By considering what model could reductionism be avoided?
The diathesis-stress model
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What does the dopamine hypothesis suggest is the cause of schizophrenia?
Excess dopamine receptors which results in excess dopamine neurones firing which leads to thought disturbances
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What are dopamine receptors know to play a key role in?
Guiding attention and perception
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What evidence is there to support the dopamine hypothesis?
Anti-psychotic drugs that reduce the action of dopamine reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, post-mortems and PET scans suggest increased action of dopamine
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What are 5 weaknesses of the dopamine hypothesis?
Aetiology fallacy, antipsychotic drugs are ineffective on negative symptoms and 1/3 of patients do not respond at all, unclear cause and effect, other neurotransmitters are not considered such as serotonin, reductionist
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What does the neurodevelopment hypothesis suggest is the cause of schizophrenia?
Abnormal brain development: smaller brains and enlarged ventricles, potentially affected frontal lobes, temporal lobes and hypothalamus
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What is the definition of concordance rate?

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The probability that if one person has a given disorder another one person also has the same disorder

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How are concordance rates useful biological explanations?

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Card 4

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What is the concordance rate percentage of schizophrenia in the general population?

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What is the concordance rate percentage of schizophrenia in monozygotic twins?

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