Causes of Schizophrenia Essay

1605 Words Apr 10th, 2016 7 Pages
Shannon Law
Dr. Womack
04 November 15
Schizophrenia and its Causes “When I began hearing voices, I told myself that this was just some weird coping mechanism for my stress. I began sleeping to hide from the voices, which were getting worse and handicapping my ability to listen to my own stream of consciousness.” Imagine having to hear voices or screams coming from invisible bodies. This is what individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia have to deal with every day. Schizophrenia is a severe mental disease characterized by unpredictable disturbances in thinking. The word “schizophrenia” comes from the Greek words meaning “split” and “mind.” It refers to the characteristic schizophrenic behavior of withdrawing from
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Scientists have long noted that schizophrenia is a heritable disorder. Family aggregation, twin concordance, and adoption methods have been used and similar conclusions have been reached by them all: there is something heritable about schizophrenia. Family aggregation studies have reported “mean morbid risks to siblings of schizophrenics of about 8% and to parents of schizophrenics of about 5%. Risks to offspring of one schizophrenic parent were said to be about 12% and about 40% to the offspring of two schizophrenic parents” (Holzman and Matthysse 279). The increase in 28% percentage points (from 12% to 40%) from one schizophrenic parent to two schizophrenic parents indicate that schizophrenia has a very significant genetic component. The twin method, in which concordance rates in monozygotic and dizygotic twins are compared, has also produced data consistent with genetic transmission. “Concordance rates for schizophrenia average around 45% and 9%” (Holzman and Matthysse 279), respectively for monozygotic and dizygotic sets, high enough to be consistent with genetic transmission. Adoption studies have also been regarded as essential to the demonstration that genetic factors operate in schizophrenia. Adoption studies confirmed that schizophrenic illness runs in the biological families of schizophrenic probands, but not in their adoptive families. The prospect of finding genetic linkage has rejuvenated the field of psychiatric genetics. The discovery

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