B) Evaluate the Biological Approach’s Explanation of Schizophrenia.
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The biological approach asserts that something in our biology is the fundamental cause of dysfunctional behaviour which could be a genetic cause or a malfunction of brain structures. Although it is seen as the most common explanation for schizophrenia due to the use of drug therapy, it would be deterministic and reductionist to explain schizophrenia only with the biological approach since there are other numerous factors such as the ones related to the cognitive explanation or other environmental causes. Also, even within the biological approach, there are various different biological factors that cause conflict with each other, e.g. genetic tendency, the dopamine hypothesis (a chemical issue), innate brain structures, and diathesis-stress…show more content… They work by blocking dopamine receptors, thus preventing dopamine-receiving neurons from firing. Additionally, L-Dopa, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease (caused by lack of dopamine), can produce Sz symptoms in individuals with no history of the disorder.
However, the evidence is inconclusive since other studies have failed to reveal an excess of dopamine receptors. Further problems with the dopamine hypothesis include the finding that antipsychotic drugs which block dopamine receptors, do not appear to help a significant number of people with Sz. They appear much more effective in cases of Type 1 Sz than in Type 2. Second, these drugs block dopamine receptors quickly, yet even when they are effective, the symptoms can take weeks or even months to subside. Furthermore, the developments of new types of drugs such as clozapine which are known as antipsychotic drugs block fewer dopamine receptors than traditional anti-psychotics. However, they block many receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin. They appear particularly effective in reducing the symptoms of Type 2 schizophrenics. Recent research suggests that Sz may result from the interaction of serotonin and dopamine rather than dopamine alone. As Davison and Neale (1998) suggest, ‘Sz is a disorder with widespread symptoms covering perception, cognition, motor activity and social behaviour. It is