Dopamine Plays A Role In The Development Of Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a life-long disorder that affects about one percent of the population (Mueser & McGurk, 2004). The cause of this mental illness is still unclear. Studies have suggested that Schizophrenia does not arise from one factor but from a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors (Liddle, 1987). People diagnosed with Schizophrenia struggle to deal with a multitude of symptoms that make it difficult to function (Mueser & McGurk, 2004). Antipsychotic medications are a popular treatment of the symptoms of Schizophrenia (Mueser & McGurk, 2004). Research is constantly being done to develop these medications to enhance the quality of life of those diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Over the years, experiments have produced evidence to suggest that dopamine plays a role in the development of Schizophrenia (Howes, McCutcheon, & Stone, 2015). Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced in the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental regions of the brain. The belief that dopamine was involved in Schizophrenia arose after multiple studies performed with compounds produced an increase in extracellular concentrations of dopamine (Lieberman, Kane, & Alvir, 1987). The patients that were administered these compounds had similar symptoms to those observed from patients who were diagnosed with Schizophrenia (Lieberman et al., 1987). The results of these earlier studies were expounded on by research that suggested increased striatal dopamine
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