The Causes Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects the population worldwide. While there is no definitive cause of schizophrenia, research suggests that it arises from a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, neurological, social, and psychological factors.
How DNA Influence Schizophrenia?
Genes largely cause schizophrenia. Studies have shown that the disorder is highly heritable, meaning that a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia is significantly increased if a close family member has the disorder.
The risk of developing schizophrenia is estimated to be approximately 10% for those with a first-degree relative with the disorder, compared to just 1% in the general population.
The genetic basis of schizophrenia is complex and likely involves the contribution of multiple genes. Polygenic risk factors, which are the cumulative effects of multiple genetic variations, are thought to play a significant role. Additionally, de novo mutations, which occur spontaneously and are not inherited from parents, have been found to be more prevalent in individuals with schizophrenia than in the general population.
Life Events and their Impact to a Person’s Condition
Environmental factors, such as prenatal and perinatal factors, early-life stress and trauma, and substance abuse, have also been implicated in the development of schizophrenia. Prenatal exposure to infection or malnutrition, as well as complications during delivery, have been associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.
Additionally, childhood trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse, has been linked to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.
Substance abuse, particularly of cannabis, has also been linked to an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Research has found that cannabis use during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, is associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis and schizophrenia.
The Role of Brain Chemistry
The neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate are thought to play a crucial role in the development of schizophrenia. The dopamine hypothesis proposes that the overactivity of dopamine receptors in the brain is responsible for the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions. The glutamate hypothesis proposes that deficits in the functioning of glutamate receptors are responsible for the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.