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Who Is More Likely To Develop Schizophrenia

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Prior to 2013, schizophrenia was divided into five subtypes as separate diagnostic categories. Schizophrenia is now one diagnosis.

Although the subtypes are no longer used in clinical diagnosis, the names of the subtypes may be known for people diagnosed prior to the DSM-5 . These classic subtypes included:

  • paranoid, with symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech
  • hebephrenic or disorganized, with symptoms such as flat affect, speech disturbances, and disorganized thinking
  • undifferentiated, with symptoms displaying behaviors applicable to more than one type
  • residual, with symptoms that have lessened in intensity since a previous diagnosis
  • catatonic, with symptoms of immobility, mutism, or stupor

According to the DSM-5, to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, two or more of the following must be present during a 1-month period.

At least one must be numbers 1, 2, or 3 on the list:

  • delusions
  • Schizophrenia Treatment And Mental Health Recovery

    Schizophrenia treatment requires an all-encompassing approach, and it is important to develop a plan of care that is tailored to each persons needs. Mental health care providers and the individual needing mental health help should work together to craft this plan.

    Finding the right medication is one important aspect of symptom management, but other services are also needed in order to promote mental health recovery. Rehabilitation strategies involving work, school and relationship goals are also essential and need to be addressed in creating a plan of care. Peer support learning from someone who has been thereis a growing area of the field and can also provide employment opportunities for people needing mental health help. See the mental health resources section for peer support group information.

    Severe Abuse In Childhood May Treble Risk Of Schizophrenia

    Children who experience severe forms of abuse are around three times as likely to develop schizophrenia and related psychoses in later life compared with children who do not experience such abuse, according to a study that has brought together psychiatric data from almost 80,000 people.

    The results add to a growing body of evidence that childhood maltreatment or abuse can raise the risk of developing mental illnesses in adulthood, including depression, personality disorders and anxiety.

    Prof Richard Bentall of the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, who led the study, showed that the risk of developing psychosis increased in line with the amount of abuse or trauma a child had gone through, with the most severely affected children having a 50-fold increased risk compared with children who had suffered no abuse. He also showed that the type of trauma experienced in childhood affected the subsequent psychiatric symptoms later in life.

    Schizophrenia occurs in around 1-3% of the population and is defined by psychiatrists as one of the most severe types of mental illness. It is characterised by hearing voices, bizarre beliefs and loss of motivation.

    “It’s entirely possible that these changes in the brain that we see in patients are the results of their life experiences,” said Bentall. “But we don’t know if that’s the case.”

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    Having A Parent With The Condition

    Having a parent with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia is the strongest known risk factor for developing a serious mental illness yourself. Children with a parent who has a serious mental illness have a 1 in 3 chance of developing a serious mental illness themselves.

    Although only 1 in 100 people get schizophrenia, about 1 in 10 people with schizophrenia have a parent with the illness.

    Physical Abnormality In The Brain

    Children exposed to dogs less likely to develop ...

    Neuroimaging technology has made it far easier for scientists and researchers to study the brain and its functions. It has been especially enlightening when it comes to the structure of the brain and how it can affect many different components. Neuroimaging technology has demonstrated that a healthy person’s brain looks different than that of a person’s brain who has schizophrenia. The brains of patients with schizophrenia often show more gray matter, cavities filled with fluids near the center of the brain, and areas showing dramatically less or more activity than that of the normal brain.

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    Other Causes Of Schizophrenia

    Along with genetics, other potential causes of schizophrenia include:

    • The environment. Being exposed to viruses or toxins, or experiencing malnutrition before birth, can increase the risk of schizophrenia.
    • Brain chemistry. Issues with brain chemicals, such as the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, may contribute to schizophrenia.
    • Substance use. Teen and young adult use of mind-altering drugs may increase the risk of schizophrenia.
    • Immune system activation. Schizophrenia can also be connected to autoimmune diseases or inflammation.

    Why Do Men Develop Schizophrenia Before Women

    This is not an easy question to answer. Scientific researchers have come up with a few possibilities, though nothing has been proven as the main reason why men develop schizophrenia earlier than women do. Research, though, is showing a connection between DNA modifications and early brain development.

    Other research suggestsa link between estrogen, a female sex hormone, and schizophrenia. Some women are first diagnosed with schizophrenia after menopause, the same time their estrogen levels drop. Estrogen also seems to have a protective effect, shielding women from the severity of this illness.

    Researchers are conducting randomized clinical trials to study how well estrogen works in conjunction with antipsychotic medication in both men and women with schizophrenia.

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    What Causes These Stages

    Schizophrenia is a multidimensional condition that arises from a number of variables. Research has shed light on the possible causes of schizophrenia. However, the reasons why people move through the phases of schizophrenia remain unclear.

    A combination of environmental, genetic, and physiological factors may alter the brains structure and chemistry. These changes lead to schizophrenia.

    Experts associate the following factors with schizophrenia:

    • Genetics: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness , people with a family history of schizophrenia are six times more likely to develop the condition.
    • Environment: A persons environment can impact their risk for schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

    Although schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, it is treatable. Receiving timely and effective treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent relapses.

    Treatment options include:

  • Coordinated specialty care . CSC involves a team of health professionals that manage medication, deliver psychotherapy, and provide education and employment support.
  • If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting dangerous or risky behaviors, please seek emergency care:

    • Dial 911 or visit the nearest emergency department
    • Find a local extended observation unit or crisis stabilization unit

    Schizophrenia is a complex, long-term condition that can significantly impact a persons ability to function and maintain healthy relationships.

    Chemical Changes In The Brain

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    A series of complex interrelated chemicals in the brain, called neurotransmitters, are responsible for sending signals between brain cells.

    Low levels or imbalances of these chemicals are believed to play a role in the development of schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

    Dopamine, in particular, seems to play a role in the development of schizophrenia.

    Researchers have found evidence that dopamine causes an overstimulation of the brain in people with schizophrenia. It may account for some of the symptoms of the condition.

    Glutamate is another chemical thats been linked to schizophrenia. Evidence has pointed toward its involvement. However, there are a number of limitations to this research.

    Complications before and during birth may increase the likelihood a person will develop mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.

    These complications include:

    Because of the ethics involved in studying pregnant women, many of the studies that have looked at the connection between prenatal complications and schizophrenia have been on animals.

    Women with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for complications during pregnancy.

    Its unclear if their children are at an increased likelihood for developing the condition because of genetics, pregnancy complications, or a combination of the two.

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    For Family Members Of People With Schizophrenia

    It can be hard to understand what is happening if your son or daughter, husband or wife, brother or sister develops schizophrenia. Sometimes, no-one realises what is wrong.

    Your relative may become odd, distant or just different from how they used to be. They may avoid contact with people and become less active.

    If they have delusional ideas, they may talk about them but may also keep quiet about them. If they are hearing voices, they may suddenly look away from you as if they are listening to something else.

    When you speak to them, they may say little, or be difficult to understand. Their sleep pattern may change so that they stay up all night and sleep during the day.

    In a teenager, you may wonder if this behaviour is just rebellious. It can happen so slowly that only when you look back can you see when it started.

    It can be particularly difficult to recognise these changes during the teenage years, when young people are changing so much anyway.

    You may start to blame yourself and wonder Was it my fault? You may wonder if anyone else in the family is going to be affected, what the future holds, or how they can get the best help.

    Teens Who Smoke Pot At Risk For Later Schizophrenia Psychosis

    ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

    Teenagers and young adults who use marijuana may be messing with their heads in ways they dont intend.

    Evidence is mounting that regular marijuana use increases the chance that a teenager will develop psychosis, a pattern of unusual thoughts or perceptions, such as believing the television is transmitting secret messages. It also increases the risk of developing schizophrenia, a disabling brain disorder that not only causes psychosis, but also problems concentrating and loss of emotional expression.

    In one recent study that followed nearly 2,000 teenagers as they became young adults, young people who smoked marijuana at least five times were twice as likely to have developed psychosis over the next 10 years as those who didnt smoke pot.

    Another new paper concluded that early marijuana use could actually hasten the onset of psychosis by three years. Those most at risk are youths who already have a mother, father, or sibling with schizophrenia or some other psychotic disorder.

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    Things You May Not Have Known About Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that people are willing to talk about these days. If you or someone you know has schizophrenia, read our list of 10 things you may not have known before!

  • About 7 or 8 out of every 1,000 individuals will have schizophrenia in their lifetime
  • Though the disease itself is not that common, it can affect people of every gender, race and ethnicity. Slightly more men than women will develop schizophrenia.

  • Schizophrenia usually presents itself during adolescence or young adulthood
  • It remains hidden during childhood and develops between the ages of 16 and 30. A number of factors, including isolating oneself and withdrawing from others, an increase in unusual thoughts and suspicions, and a family history of psychosis, can predict the onset of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia hits when young adults are starting their life, said Andrew Cutler, MD, of Meridien Research. Imagine the effect it has on them. And its horrible for families to go through.

  • You have a greater chance of developing schizophrenia if a family member has it
  • It is well known among scientists that schizophrenia can run in families. About 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative, like a parent or sibling, with the disorder will develop it themselves. However, as there are many people with schizophrenia who do not have relatives with the condition, genetics is just one factor that causes schizophrenia.

  • Schizophrenia is caused by a number of genes, not just one
  • Childhood Trauma Linked To Schizophrenia

    Women are more likely to experience #schizophrenia later ...
    University of Liverpool
    Researchers have found that children who have experienced severe trauma are three times as likely to develop schizophrenia in later life.

    Researchers at the University have found that children who experience severe trauma are three times as likely to develop schizophrenia in later life.

    The findings shed new light on the debate about the importance of genetic and environmental triggers of psychotic disorders. For many years research in mental health has focused on the biological factors behind conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and psychotic depression, but there is now increasing evidence to suggest these conditions cannot be fully understood without first looking at the life experiences of individual patients.

    The research, conducted by teams at Liverpool and Maastricht University in the Netherlands, is the first of its kind to bring together and analyse the findings from more than 30 years of studies looking at the association between childhood trauma and the development of psychosis. The researchers looked at more than 27,000 research papers to extract data from three types of studies those addressing the progress of children known to have experienced adversity studies of randomly selected members of the population and research on psychotic patients who were asked about their early childhood.

    Explore the latest scientific research on sleep and dreams in this free online course from New Scientistâ

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    The Role Of Brain Chemistry And Structure In Schizophrenia

    Scientists are looking at possible differences in brain structure and function in people with and people without schizophrenia. In people with schizophrenia, they found that:

    • Spaces in the brain, called ventricles, were larger.
    • Parts of the brain that deal with memory, known as the medial temporal lobes, were smaller.
    • There were fewer connections between brain cells.

    People with schizophrenia also tend to have differences in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These control communication within the brain.

    Studies show that these neurotransmitters are either too active or not active enough in people with schizophrenia.

    Doctors also believe the brain loses tissue over time. And imaging tools, like PET scans and MRIs, show that people who have schizophrenia have less âgray matterâ — the part of the brain that contains nerve cells — over time.

    Studies of brain tissue in people with schizophrenia after death even show that their brain structure is often different than it was at birth.

    Brain Chemistry And Structure

    The neurotransmitter dopamine has long been thought to have some part in the development of schizophrenia.

    It is argued that an individual who has too much dopamine in one area of their brain whilst lacking it in another, will develop symptoms of the condition. This theory is backed up by the fact that some illegal drugs will cause an increase in levels of dopamine, and when this happens symptoms of schizophrenia will become apparent in an individual who does not have a diagnosis of the condition.

    The structure of the brain has also been thought to be linked to schizophrenia, although it is not known whether schizophrenia causes a difference in brain structure or differences in brain structure cause schizophrenia. Many people with the condition have been found to have enlarged brain ventricles, which are thought to be the result of poor brain development. Also, it has been noted that people with schizophrenia have a smaller hippocampus and poor neural connections, all of which are thought to play some part in the development of schizophrenia.

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    Can I Talk To The Psychiatrist

    Families have often been left out of discussions because of worries about confidentiality. This should not be the case now.

    People with schizophrenia are often living with or being supported by their family. So, their family needs the information that will allow them to care most effectively.

    Even if the person does not want their family to be involved, the family can still tell the mental health team about what is going on.

    You may also need advice. What do you need to do? Schizophrenia makes people more sensitive to stress, so it is helpful to avoid arguments and keep calm – perhaps easier said than done.

    Risk Factors Of Schizophrenia

    What Causes Schizophrenia? | Schizophrenia

    Risk factors of schizophrenia include many genetic and environmental phenomena. The prevailing model of schizophrenia is that of a special neurodevelopmental disorder with no precise boundary or single cause . Schizophrenia is thought to develop from very complex geneenvironment interactions with vulnerability factors. The interactions of these risk factors are intricate, as numerous and diverse insults from conception to adulthood can be involved. The combination of genetic and environmental factors leads to deficits in the neural circuits that affect sensory input and cognitive functions. Historically, this theory has been broadly accepted but impossible to prove given ethical limitations. The first definitive proof that schizophrenia arises from multiple biological changes in the brain was recently established in human tissue grown from patient stem cells, where the complexity of disease was found to be “even more complex than currently accepted” due to cell-by-cell encoding of schizophrenia-related neuropathology.

    A genetic predisposition on its own, without superimposed environmental risk factors, generally does not give rise to schizophrenia. Environmental risk factors are many, and include pregnancy complications, prenatal stress and nutrition, and adverse childhood experiences. An environmental risk factor may act alone or in combination with others.

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    Psychotic Symptoms And Schizophrenia Diagnosis By Race

    • The lifetime prevalence of self-reported psychotic symptoms is highest in black Americans , Latino Americans , and white Americans .
    • The lifetime prevalence of self-reported psychotic symptoms is lowest in Asian Americans .
    • Research has found that black Americans are three to four times more likely than white Americans to receive a Schizophrenia diagnosis.

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