Although many human disorders can be explained by simple Mendelian hereditary patterns, others are more complex in their nature. Multifactorial diseases are influenced by a range of factors, specifically an individual’s genetics and environment. One example of a complex disease is schizophrenia, a mental affliction that is caused by a chemical imbalance in or the irregular structure of the brain. Schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations or delusions and inhibits individuals from rationalizing, controlling emotions, communicating, or making independent choices. Thus schizophrenia is a complex and chronic disorder that affects individuals uniquely, and is influenced by both genetic and environmental stimuli (“What”).
From a genetic standpoint, scientists and researchers know that schizophrenia involves multiple chromosomes and occurs at a higher frequency for people with a history of schizophrenia in their families. So far, loci that are believed to correlate with a higher susceptibility or the disease itself have been located on all of the autosomal chromosomes, excluding chromosomes seven, nine, and twenty-one, and one locus has been found on the X sex chromosome (“Genes”). Some chromosomes even have multiple loci at which a link to schizophrenia has been found, but the exact cause of the disease still remains a mystery. On the other hand, the particular deletion of 22p11.2, a locus on chromosome twenty-two, offers interesting phenotypic observations that are associated with schizophrenics. 22p11.2 Deletion Syndrome has been observed in roughly 1% of the population with schizophrenia and those with the mutation seem to have the same symptoms and phenotype as other schizophrenics. However, people with 22pDS are known to ...
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...a faulty connection between them often results in neurological and psychological disorders. Studies have shown that changes in the brain between schizophrenics and non-schizophrenics occur mostly in the frontal cortex, the brain’s processing center for rational thought, explaining why schizophrenic struggle with delusions and processing logic (“Causes”).
Bassett, Annie S. “Schizophrenia and 22p11.2 Deletion Syndrome.” NCBI. N.p., 2008. Web. 9 March. 2014.
“Genes Associated with Diseases.” GeneCards. Weizmann Institute of Science, 2014. Web. 9 March. 2014.
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“The Causes of Schizophrenia.” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 March. 2014.
“What is schizophrenia?” National Alliance on Mental Illness. N.p., 2013. PDF file.