What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder. People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, abnormal motor skills, affective symptoms, and cognitive impairment. Schizophrenia can be debilitating, causing someone not to be able to function in everyday life. Much research has gone into understanding schizophrenia and how to treat it, but many people still do not know exactly what schizophrenia is. In this blog post, we discuss what schizophrenia is.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder that often appears in adolescence. However, researchers and medical professionals are learning how to detect symptoms of schizophrenia in early childhood. What remains unclear is exactly what schizophrenia is – is it a genetic disorder, a developmental disability, or a combination of both?

In some ways, schizophrenia may be considered a genetic disorder. Genetic studies that have focused on single nucleotide polymorphisms have found several genes of interest that may be responsible for causing schizophrenia. Namely, researchers have identified that mutations on chromosome 6p21.3-22.1, 2q32.1, chromosome 8, and 18q21.2 may be linked to schizophrenia. Other genes of interest are involved in signalling pathways and the potassium channel. Currently, researchers have identified 43 genes that may be involved in causing schizophrenia, but it appears that schizophrenia may be caused by a variety of genetic abnormalities.

Some researchers and medical professionals think of schizophrenia as a developmental disorder. Researchers have found that people with schizophrenia have different brain development, which includes reduced myelination, interneuron activity, and excessive excitatory pruning. With abnormal brain development, people with schizophrenia interpret and process information differently. This may explain why some people with schizophrenia experience cognitive impairment, affective symptoms, hallucinations, and delusions, as communication between different cells within the brain may be impacted due to abnormalities in brain development.

Conclusion

Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder. People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, abnormal motor skills, affective symptoms, and cognitive impairment. These complications may be debilitating, causing someone living with schizophrenia to not be able to do the things they want to do in their everyday life. Researchers and medical professionals are trying to better understand what exactly schizophrenia is. So far, researchers have found both genetic and developmental causes of schizophrenia. Other research has shown some evidence of environmental causes of schizophrenia, such as stress experienced while in the womb. Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder, with genetic, developmental, and environmental risk factors. 

Margaret Davis

Margaret Davis is a junior studying advertising at Temple University. She is thrilled to be joining the HappyNeuron Pro team as the Content Marketing Intern. With her previous experience working on PR and Social Media campaigns, Margaret hopes to bring a variety of skills to the team.

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