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Schizophrenia as a Major Concern in Public Health

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Experts believe that several factors bring about schizophrenia. For a long time, scientists have known schizophrenia to run in families. Although the disorder arises in 1% of the general population, it occurs in 10% of individuals whose first-degree relation such as a parent, sister or brother had/has the disorder. Persons whose second-degree relatives such as grandparents, cousins, aunts or uncles have/had the illness are also more likely to develop schizophrenia compared to the general population. The risk is greatest for an identical twin of an individual suffering from schizophrenia – 65%).

People inherit their genes from both parents. Scientists link several genes with a greater risk of schizophrenia, but they point out that no gene brings about the disease by itself. In effect, recent research indicates that persons suffering from schizophrenia have a tendency of having increased rates of unusual genetic mutations. These genetic disparities involve numerous different genes and most likely disrupt the development of the brain. According to other recent studies, schizophrenia may develop in part following a malfunctioning of a certain gene that is vital the making of vital brain chemicals.

This hitch may have an effect on the part of the brain that is concerned with the development of higher functioning skills. It is important to note that it most likely takes more than genes to bring about the disorder. According to scientists, for schizophrenia to arise, there must be interactions between genes and the environment. Various environmental factors such as problems during birth, malnutrition before birth, exposure to viruses and other unknown psychosocial factors must exist. Scientists also attribute the development of to different brain chemistry and structure.

They think that a disparity in the brain’ s interrelated, intricate chemical reactions involving the neurotransmitters (substances that permit the communication of brain cells) glutamate and dopamine, and perhaps others, contributes to the development of schizophrenia.

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