Critically consider the biological approach of Schizophrenia (24 marks)

  • Created by: Marco
  • Created on: 18-03-14 23:04

Consider the biological approach of schizophrenia (24 marks)

Schizophrenia is severe mental disorder characterised by delusions, hallucinations, incoherence and physical agitation; it is classified as a thought disorder and affects thought perception and emotion.

The biological approach of schizophrenia suggests that behaviour can be related to changes in brain activity and its physiology. If behaviour is associated with these changes, then schizophrenia could then be caused by brain structures or brain neurotransmitters. Another cause of schizophrenia could be due to the individual’s genetics. This is because an individual’s brain structure heavily depends on inheritance from their family members.

The biochemistry of schizophrenia suggests that this mental disorder might be in result of abnormally high levels of dopamine or oversensitive receptors of dopamine. There are been must research to support this. First, there is evidence that anti-psychotic drugs block dopamine receptors. This has been proven my giving schizophrenics neuroleptic and atypical drugs which have evidently reduced schizophrenic symptoms. Second, the drug named L-dopa has been proven to increase levels of dopamine. It has been given to patients who are suffering with Parkinson’s disease (a disease where individuals are suffering with low levels of dopamine). There is much evidence to show that these individuals with Parkinson’s disease develop many schizophrenia symptoms when their levels of dopamine are increased. Finally, there has been much psychological research carried out in post mortem examinations. These examinations showed that such patients have greater density of dopamine receptors; overly suggests that excessive dopamine does play a role in the appearance of schizophrenia.

Unfortunately, there have been many problems with the dopamine hypothesis. This is because it has been proven to be difficult to access brain levels of dopamine as this can only be done in a direct way by post mortem assessment. These post mortems successfully indicated…


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