Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia

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Describe two or more biological explanations of schizophrenia. (8 marks) Evaluate biological explanations of schizophrenia. (16 marks)

There are many explanations for schizophrenia, but the biological explanations have received the most research support, according to Comer 2003. To explain schizophrenia from biological perspective, we would discuss the disorder from the direction of genetics, biochemistry and brain structures.

The first explanation for schizophrenia is genetic factor. Researchers have done many studies in different kind of ways in order to study genetic inheritability disorder, such as schizophrenia. The studies include family studies, twin studies and adoption studies. Family studies would investigate individuals who have schizophrenia and determine if their biological relatives are also affected more often than non-biological relatives. The most famous schizophrenic’s family study was conducted by Gottesman, 1991. They found that schizophrenia is more common among biological relatives, also the closer the degree of genetic relatedness, the greater the risk of getting schizophrenia. For example, the concordance rate of children with two schizophrenic parents is 46%, whereas the concordance rate of children of one schizophrenic parent is 13%. Twin studies give an opportunity for researchers to investigate the contribution of genetic and environmental influences. Joseph 2004 has calculated that the concordance rate for monozygotic twins, who come from the same egg of biological mother, is 40.4%, whereas the concordance rate for dizygotic twins is only 7.4%. These suggest that the greater the similarity is because of genetic factors. Adoption studies help to avoid the problem of mixing genetic and environmental influences together. The most methodological sound adoption study to date was conducted by Tienari et al. 2000. They found that 11 out...