Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain that is expressed clinically as a disease of the mind. Once it strikes, morbidity is high (60% of patients are receiving disability benefits within the first year of onset) as is mortality (the suicide rate is 10%). (www.nejm.org/content/1999/0340/008/0645.asp). Because its symptoms and signs and associated cognitive abnormalities are diverse, researchers have been unable to find localization in a single region of the brain. This essay will discuss the symptoms, treatments and causes of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder, which affects 1 -- 2 % of the world's population (www.nami.org/helpline/schizo) Schizophrenia can affect anyone at any age, but most cases develop between adolescence and age 30. The relative prevalence of schizophrenia is staggering compared with the likes of muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. (See appendix one). The symptoms of schizophrenia are generally divided into three categories; positive, disorganized and negative symptoms. Positive or 'psychotic' symptoms include delusions and hallucinations as the patient has lost touch with reality in certain important ways. Positive used in this context does not mean good, rather it refers to having overt symptoms that should not be there. Delusions can cause the patient to believe that other people are reading their thoughts or plotting against them, that others are secretly monitoring or threatening them, that they can control other peoples minds or to have other grandiose beliefs. Hallucinations can cause people to hear or see things that are not there. Disorganized symptoms include confused thinking or speech, and behavior tha... ... middle of paper ... ...could also play a role. Several studies since then have shown that there tends to be a higher rate of schizophrenia among children born in winter or early spring. (Kalat, 1998). (See appendix two). As the above information has shown, schizophrenia is a treatable disease that affects 1 -- 2 % of the world's population. The symptoms can be managed through medication but as of yet there is no cure. The cause is unknown but there are several plausible theories. Researchers can only hope that future work will shed a brighter light on this debilitating disease. Bibliography: REFERENCES Kalat, J (1998). Biological Psychology (6th Ed) USA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company www.chovil.com./first.html www.nami.org/helpline/schizo.htm www.nejm.org/content/1999/0340/0008/0645.asp www.schizophrenia.com/news/causes2.html

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