Schizophrenia Essay

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Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder. It is a disease that makes it difficult

for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to

think logically, to have normal emotional responses to other, and to behave

normally in social situations. People with schizophrenia may also have

difficulty in remembering, talking, and behaving appropriately. Schizophrenia

is one of the most common mental illnesses. About 1% of the world

population has schizophrenia. In the United States, there are about 2.5 million

people with the disease. Schizophrenia is the cause of more hospitalizations

than almost any other illness. Schizophrenia most commonly begins between

the ages of 15 and
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Even the experts

are not sure exactly what causes it. Some doctors think that the brain may not

be able to process information correctly. People without schizophrenia

usually can filter out unneeded information: for example, the sound of a train

whistle in the background or a dog barking next door. People with

schizophrenia, however, cannot always filter out this extra information. One

possible cause of schizophrenia may be heredity, or genetics. Experts think

that some people inherit a tendency to schizophrenia. In fact, the disorder

tends to “run” in families, but only among blood relatives. People who have

family members with schizophrenia may be more likely to get the disease

themselves. If both biologic parents have schizophrenia, there is nearly a 40%

chance that their child will get it, too. This happens even if the child is

adopted and raised by mentally healthy adults. In people who have an

identical twin with schizophrenia, the chance of schizophrenia developing is

almost 50%. In contrast, children whose biological parents are mentally

healthy – even if their adoptive parents have schizophrenia – have about a

1% chance of getting the disease. That is about the same risk as for the

general population of the United States. Some researchers believe that events

in a person’s environment trigger schizophrenia. Some studies have shown

that influenza infection or improper nutrition during

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