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Causes of schizophrenia

The causes of schizophrenia have been the subject of much debate, with various factors proposed and discounted or modified. The language of schizophrenia research under the medical model is scientific. Such studies suggest that genetics, prenatal development, early environment, neurobiology and psychological and social processes are important contributory factors. Current psychiatric research into the development of the disorder is often based on a neurodevelopmental model (proponents of which see schizophrenia as a syndrome.) However, schizophrenia is diagnosed on the basis of symptom profiles. Neural correlates do not provide sufficiently useful criteria. "Current research into schizophrenia has remained highly fragmented, much like the clinical presentation of the disease itself". The one thing that researchers can agree on is that schizophrenia is a complicated and variable condition. It is best thought of as a syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that may or may not have related causes, rather than a single disease.

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Schizophrenia

Comparison to two twin brothers, one suffering from Schizophrenia and the second is healthy.

Contributed by Laura Diana Escamilla

Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families. The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister. People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia. He or she has a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the disorder. We inherit our genes from both parents. Scientists believe several genes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but that no gene causes the disease by

Contributed by Laura Diana Escamilla

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