Pathophysiology: "The functional changes associated with or resulting from disease or injury"
- The pathophysiology of schizophrenia has long remained a mystery and still
today, even with various hypotheses, remains somewhat uncertain: there
are too many variants; not enough consistency in findings; and, despite
research, a lack of documented proof.
most well-known and respected hypothesis with regards to the
pathophysiology of schizophrenia began in the 1990s and consisted
primarily of the notion there is a problem with the dopamine levels in
the brain of schizophrenics.
is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter, which means that it activates
five different receptors in the brain, aptly named D1, D2, D3, D4, and
D5. That said, it may not be the only neurotransmitter involved in the
pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Glutamate and Serotonin have also been
to this hypothesis is the fact that drugs administered to aid
dopaminergic activity bring on schizophrenic characteristics such as
psychosis, in a patient, whereas drugs administered to block them help
reduce, or eliminate symptoms of schizophrenia altogether.
studies affecting the pathophysiology of schizophrenia include
suggestions that maternal factors such as infection, malnutrician,
location of birth, season of birth, and delivery, may play a significant
part in the formation and subsequent appearance of schizophrenia.
Studies have shown that the worldwide rate of births affected with
schizophrenia is up to 8% higher when occurring in spring or winter,
though no explanation for this can be offered.
aspect of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia that has been explored
in relative detail is that of genetics, and their relation to the
likelihood of immediate relatives being born with the disease.
Shockingly, it has been found that 10% of all immediate family members
of an infected person will be struck down with the disease. This is
specifically in relation to parents, siblings, and children. With
regards to twins or other multiple births, the chances they will share
the disease is 50%. Genetic reports suggest that it is the X chromosome
which determines whether or not a person is infected with schizophrenia,
specifically, chromosomes 1, 3, 5, and 11, however further studies are
needed in order to prove this theory.
there are many theories and hypotheses regarding the pathophysiology of
schizophrenia, there is, unfortunately, still no cure for the disease.
The best a sufferer can hope for nowadays is to benefit from available
medication which keeps the disease under control or in remission for the
duration of time for which it is taken.