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World Health Organization (1992) asserts that Schizophrenia is a mental illness whose characteristics are normally abnormalities in reality’s expression and perception. This severe and chronic disorder affects people from all social status, gender, and races among other differences indiscriminatively with the same frequency. Those with the illness are often withdrawn, terrified, or very agitated due to the way they may hear imaginary voices, and further false impressions of other people towards them. There are many symptoms of Schizophrenia including: hallucinations and illusions, disorganized behaviors, thoughts and speech, the patients’ body may also be rigid and sometimes patients are unresponsive.
Under biological forms of Schizophrenia, investigations have been carried out on infectious agents, metabolism disturbances, allergies and genetic inclination. Of all the findings genes have been established to play a significant role in causing schizophrenia as many studies reveal that the disorder runs in families (Wright et al, 2006). The average occurrence of the illness in the overall population is 1 % but among people with first-degree relatives like sister, brother, or parent(s) having the illness, the percentage is higher, 10 %. In identical twins, the risk of disorder if one of the pair is ill is even high, estimated to be 40%-65%.
According to research, no specific gene is responsible for causing schizophrenia individually but due to many genes. In actual fact recent findings have demonstrated that among schizophrenia patients, genetic mutations occur at a higher rate (Pike et al, 2003). Due to these differences entailing a lot of genes, it is believed that they could disrupt development of brain. On the other hand, the illness can occur when there is a malfunction in a certain gene which chief in making vital chemicals of the brain. Consequently, this crisis has a negative effect on the section of the brain engaged in making advanced functioning skills. However, it is still impossible to foretell who will get the illness using the genetic information but research is still underway.
Mark et al (1990) observe that the disorder is however not caused by genes alone. Scientists are of the opinion that environmental factors interactions with genes necessitate development of Schizophrenia. In this case, there are many environmental conditions that can be involved like: difficulties during birth, virus exposures, and malnutrition prior to birth. Other psychosocial factors not yet established also play a role.
Development of Schizophrenia has also been attributed to imbalances in the complex, correlated chemical responses of the brain that involve the neurotransmitters glutamate and dopamine among others. The neurotransmitters are chemical substances that allow communication of brain cells. There is a difference in brains of schizophrenia patients and health people, to a small extent though according brain tissue studies. For instance, in Schizophrenia patients, ventricles are relatively larger (Masi et al, 2006). Brain experts claim that there may be faulty connections because of problems at some stage in brain development prior to delivery. In most cases, the problem may not manifest in an individual before attaining puberty. This is due to major alterations in the brain at this stage which could prompt psychotic symptoms.