Biological Explanation of Schizophrenia

Topics: Dopamine, Schizophrenia, Antipsychotic Pages: 2 (356 words) Published: November 10, 2008
Provide 2 or more biological explanations of schizophrenia?

1)Genetic Factors
Gottesman: Schizophrenia is more common in the biological relatives of a Schizophrenic, the closer the degree of genetic relatedness, the greater the risk. If a parent has schizophrenia the chance of child having it is 10% MZ twins have 48% chance risk of developing Schizophrenia if their twin has the disorder, whereas DZ twins 17% chance of having Schizophrenia if their twin has the disorder, that’s more than double! Kety et al: 14% of the biological relatives of adoptees with Schizophrenia were classified as Schizophrenic, whereas only 2.7% of the adoptive relatives were found to be Schizophrenics. Researchers studies DNA from human families affected by schizophrenia and found that those with Schizophrenia were more likely to have a defective version of a gene called PPP3CC; which is associated with calcineurin.

Attempts to explain Schizophrenia in terms of one biological cause are challenged by the fact that there are many types of Schizophrenia. (Crow: Type 1 is characterised by positive symptoms, Type 2 is characterised by negative symptoms) Another issue is whether the causes identified are proximate (direct) symptoms i.e. enlarged ventricles or ultimate (indirect) symptoms i.e. biological. Genetic explanations cannot account for patients who have no family history of the disorder.

2)Biochemical Factors
Comer: The Dopamine Hypothesis; Schizophrenics are thought to have high number of D2 receptors on postsynaptic neurones, resulting in more of the neurotransmitter Dopamine binding and more neurones/ action potentials firing through bodies axons. Result is ‘attentional deficit’ Evidence to support the Dopamine Hypothesis is

i.Antipsychotic/antischizophrenic drugs; called Phenothiazines, which bind to D2 receptors, blocking Dopamine from binding, reducing the ‘attentional deficit’ effect. ii.Parkinson’s Disease; have low levels of Dopamine so L-dopa...
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