Psychology: Schizophrenia and widely Used Treatments Essay

Submitted By shawnlynn13
Words: 484
Pages: 2

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro03/web2/acazaban.html
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects one to two percent of people worldwide. The disorder can develop as early as the age of five, though it is very rare at such an early age. Most men become ill between the ages of 16 and 25 whereas most women become ill between the ages of 25 and 30. Even though there are differences in the age of development between the sexes, men and women are equally at risk for schizophrenia. There is of yet no definitive answer as to what causes the disorder. It is believed to be a combination of factors including genetic make-up, pre-natal viruses, and early brain damage which cause neurotransmitter problems in the brain.These problems cause the symptoms of schizophrenia, which include hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, and unusual speech or behavior. No "cure" has yet been discovered, although many different methods have been tried. Even in these modern times, only one in five affected people fully recovers. The most common treatment is the administration of antipsychotic drugs. Other treatments that were previously used, and are occasionally still given are electro-convulsive therapy, which runs a small amount of electric current through the brain and causes seizures, and large doses of Vitamin B. Due to neurological studies of the brain, antipsychotic drugs have become the most widely used treatments. These studies show that there are widespread abnormalities in the structural connectivity of the brains of affected people. (2) It was noticed that in brains affected with schizophrenia, far more neurotransmitters are released between neurons, which is what causes the symptoms. At first, researchers thought that the problem was solely caused by excesses of dopamine in the brain. However, newer studies indicate that the neurotransmitter serotonin also plays a role in causing the symptoms. This was discovered when tests indicated that many patients better results with…