Schizophrenia and the Brain Essay

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Over the last few decades Schizophrenia has become embedded in mainstream vernacular as any behavior or emotional response that is out of touch with reality. However even with its popularity heightened through movies and headline news stories, schizophrenia is still one of the most enigmatic and least understood disorders of the brain. With current research focused on the role of neurobiology and functioning on a cellular level, investigative analysis has merited new innovations towards its source, however a single organic cause for the disorder still eludes scientists. Although the foundation of the affliction is still unknown, its effects are well documented and over the next few pages will show the changes in the brain as the disease…show more content…
According to James G. Hollandworth of the University of Southern Mississippi, schizophrenia is primarily characterized by a disintegration of reality perception, consciousness, and thought process which results in a debilitated proficiency in social and professional faculties (Hollandworth, 1990). While schizophrenia can most arguably be classified as a predominantly genetic affliction, there are others factors which can contribute to its development even without a genetic predisposition. These elements include birth defects such as hypoxia and low birth rate, neuroanatomical anomalies, viral infections, along with low IQ and cerebral atrophy (Hollandsworth, 1990). While these components in themselves are not sufficient enough to cause the disorder, they result in an increased risk for developing the disease. One theory for the cause of schizophrenia that has been studied with great validity is the dopamine hypothesis. This theory postulates that schizophrenia is caused by an overabundance of the dopamine-dependent areas of the brain causing an imbalance that affects the entire system (Hollandsworth, 1990). For this reason many of today’s schizophrenia treatment drugs inhibit dopamine receptor activity in an attempt to return it to its natural equilibrium. Although even with advances in modern science and new drugs being developed every day, the illness is still only treatable and its symptoms still emerge even
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