The Effects Of Schizophrenia On The Brain

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Schizophrenia is a disease that can be disabling and incurable. It can be caused in a variety of different ways, from genes to environmental factors. It affects the brain in many different ways, which can cause symptoms that affect your daily life. It is treatable through medication and psychotherapy, as well as radical techniques. Schizophrenia is a complex disease that alters brain chemistry and changes people’s lives. Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About one percent of Americans have this illness (Bengston). It’s a disease of the brain that affects both males and females equally, often occurring between adolescence and young adulthood. It disturbs how the brain …show more content…
The most effective medicinal treatment for schizophrenia was actually discovered on accident. In the 1950’s, scientists were attempting to formulate a new medication for high blood pressure. The result was chlorpromazine, which didn’t work for blood pressure but had a mild tranquilizing effect. This medicine drastically reduces hallucinations in people with schizophrenia (Mueser and Gingerich 145). Antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine can dramatically reduce the most prominent psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations, delusions, bizarre behavior, and odd speech) but more modestly reduce the negative symptoms (poverty of speech, apathy, and difficulty concentrating). Antipsychotic medications can take rapid effect, sometimes producing noticeable changes in the first few hours, but more often several days or weeks are required, and several months may be needed to achieve the maximum benefit. Scientists believe antipsychotics are effective because of their impact on dopamine in the brain. Antipsychotics block certain amounts of dopamine, depending on potency. These medications block the dopamine receptors in the brain, causing a cutoff of the neurotransmitter. While this helps in areas such as the thalamus and striatum to regulate emotional and motivated behavior and facilitate organized thought in schizophrenics, it also blocks areas such as the cerebellum which involves the fine tuning of motor movement causing undesirable side effects (Mueser and Gingerich 146-148). Other side effects of antipsychotic drugs are drowsiness, dizziness when changing positions, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, sensitivity to the sun, skin rashes, and menstrual problems for women (Bengston). In addition to these side effects, some symptoms typically persist. Even with the medication, most people

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