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How Does Schizophrenia Affect The Brain

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Other Factors Linked To Mental Illness

How does a Schizophrenic brain work?

While mental illness can be linked to changes in the brains functioning and chemistry, there are other underlying concerns that can make individuals more likely to struggle with mental health challenges.

These concerns include our genetic profile or the traits we inherit from our parents and other family members. Scientists believe that individuals whose family members had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , for example, may be at a higher risk to develop those conditions themselves.

Other factors that influence our mental health are physical injuries, such as damage to the head or brain, and the environment in which we live, including exposure to violence, pollution, limited or unhealthy food, lead-based paint, cigarette smoke, poverty, crime, and traumatic events.

While we may not have control over our genetic makeup or the environment in which we grow up, we can take more proactive steps as we grow older to maintain our mental health. If we know that mental illness runs in our family, for example, we can be vigilant about watching for common signs and symptoms, as well as working closely with a doctor, therapist, or counselor to guide us on proper treatment. And if we grew up in a difficult environment, we can seek out professional help and guidance as we get older to help overcome that childhood trauma.

Morphological Changes To The Frontal Lobe In Schizophrenia

Furthermore, delusional symptoms were negatively correlated with gray matter volume of both frontal and both temporal cortices, while hallucination symptoms negatively correlated with gray matter volume within the bilateral frontal, bilateral temporal, and left parietal cortices in schizophrenics.7272. Song J, Han DH, Kim SM, Hong JS, Min KJ, Cheong JH, et al. Differences in gray matter volume corresponding to delusion and hallucination in patients with schizophrenia compared with patients who have bipolar disorder. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat . 2015 11:1211-9.

The structural abnormalities are obviously not confined to the frontal lobe the left and right inferior temporal, right supramarginal/superior temporal, right and left inferiorfrontal, left frontopolar, right and left dorsolateral/ventrolateral prefrontal cortices, and the right thalamus are all affected,7373. Nenadic I, Maitra R, Basmanav FB, Schultz CC, Lorenz C, Schachtzabel C, et al. ZNF804A genetic variation affects brain grey but not white matter in schizophrenia and healthy subjects. Psychol Med. 2015 45:143-52. including the hub nodes in frontal and temporal cortices .7474. Crossley NA, Mechelli A, Scott J, Carletti F, Fox PT, McGuire P, et al. The hubs of the human connectome are generally implicated in the anatomy of brain disorders. Brain. 2014 137:2382-95.

Table 2

Summary: Neurophysiology Aspect Of Schizophrenia

MoralesNeurophysiology Aspect of SchizophreniaBiological PsychologyPSY 6645Dr. DawsonSchizophrenia is described by dissolution of thinking processes and emotional responsiveness. It is most frequently manifested through delusions, auditory hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, and paranoid delusions and may affect social or occupational functioning depending on symptoms and severity. The immense majority of individuals with schizophrenia are not violent and do not pose

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How Early Do The Brain Changes Begin

There are two large and interesting independent, studies of people with a prodromal syndrome that, is high likely to lead to schizophrenia one in Scotland- and another in Melbourne, Australia . Both these studies have performed very parallel investigations. Initially during the prodrome, a change in brain structure seems to be present in the temporal lobe volume and cingulated. On follow-up in those who have gone onto a psychotic episode, further changes can be seen in the cingulate, temporal lobe, and parahippocampal gyrus. These two independent studies have results that are not entirely consistent with each other, but it is interesting that neither show ventricular enlargement, or its progression at this stage. In general, while both research groups see initial changes in temporal and frontal lobes in people who later develop schizophrenia and progressive change in the time interval from prodrome to onset, of clinical illness, the specific changes that are clearly predictive of illness need to be further delineated.

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How Does Schizophrenia Affect The Mind

STOP THE STIGMA!: Schizophrenia

A person with schizophrenia cannot think normally. Although there are many kinds of schizophrenia and many symptoms of the disorder, all people with the disease have difficulty thinking rationally. They may experience disorganized thoughts or experience hallucinations or delusions. Often, what a person with schizophrenia says will not make sense, as it will appear disconnected or unintelligible. Schizophrenia also affects the ability of the mind to feel emotions, as people with the disorder do not feel or express emotions normally.

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Schizophrenia Changes Brain Structure: A Review Of Studies Of Individuals With Schizophrenia Never Treated With Antipsychotic Medications


A review of 56 studies of individuals with schizophrenia who had never been treated with antipsychotic medications indicates significant abnormalities in brain structure and function. Neurological and neuropsychological measures show the most consistent and largest group differences between those affected and normal controls. Measures of structural differences and cerebral metabolic function are significant but less impressive. Electrophysiological differences also are found, but most such studies are older and have methodological problems. The brain abnormalities implicate a variety of interrelated brain regions, primarily the medial temporal, prefrontal, thalamic, and basal ganglia areas. It is concluded that schizophrenia is a brain disease in the same sense that Parkinsons disease and multiple sclerosis are, and that the brain abnormalities in schizophrenia are inherent in the disease process and not medication-related. The challenge for the future is to use the new molecular techniques to study these brain areas and elevate our understanding of schizophrenias etiology to the next level.


Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Studies

There is substantial evidence that neurometabolite levels are altered in both schizophrenia and BD. A meta-analysis pooling data from 146 studies suggests decreases in NAA in the frontal lobe, hippocampus, thalamus, and basal ganglia in schizophrenia, but only in the basal ganglia and frontal lobe in BD. Another meta-analysis summarizing findings of glutamatergic abnormalities across 28 studies in schizophrenia revealed a decrease in medial frontal glutamate compared with healthy controls, but the majority of studies were conducted in medicated patients. Contrastingly, several reports do suggest an elevation of glutamatergic indices in unmedicated patients with schizophrenia in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus.,,, A smaller meta-analysis in BD including nine studies measuring Glx across different areas of the brain, suggested that this metabolite may be higher in patients with BD compared to controls, irrespective of medication status. Taken together, it appears that some of the neurometabolite alterations, specifically decreased NAA in the frontal cortex and basal ganglia may be shared across the illness spectrum, whereas others may not.

Table 5 Studies examining magnetic resonance spectroscopy

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How Schizophrenia Affects The Body Not Just The Brain

Toby Pillinger, King’s College London
Read Time: 5 mins

Schizophrenia is considered a disorder of the mind, influencing the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. But our latest research shows that organs, other than the brain, also change at the onset of the disease.Scientists have known for a long time that people with schizophrenia have much higher rates of physical illness compared with the general population, and this contributes to startlingly high rates of premature death. People with the disorder die 15 to 20 years earlier than the average person.

This poor physical health has often been seen as a secondary effect of illness. Antipsychotic drugs, for example, are associated with an increased risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle factors have been thought to play a part, too. A person with debilitating mental symptoms is more likely to forgo exercise and have a poor diet.

However, in recent years, scientists have observed that people who have recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia and who arent on any medication yet show evidence of physiological changes, such as an overactive immune system. Could it be that schizophrenia is in fact a body-wide disorder?

Discuss The Biological Approach In Psychology Essay Example

Schizophrenia: Science-Based Facts

physiological explanations, such as the effect of nerves and hormones on behaviour. According to biological psychologists, behaviour is controlled by the nervous system, which consists of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system , which itself includes the autonomic nervous system that controls automatic processes such as heart rate and the fight or flight syndrome. Within the central nervous system,

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The Default Mode Network

When weâre just hanging out — the dishes are done, weâve finished our homework, or we’ve completed a tough project at work — our thoughts are free to roam. This âdefault modeâ allows us time to daydream, reflect, and plan. It helps us to process our thoughts and memories. Scientists call this the default mode network. When weâre not focused on a given task, it âlights up.”

If you have schizophrenia, your default mode network seems to be in overdrive. You may not be able to pay attention or remember information in this mode, one study shows.

Schizophrenia Brain: Impact Of Schizophrenia On The Brain

While researchers and physicians can see the presence of abnormalities associated with schizophrenia in the brain by using Magnetic Resonance Imagery and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , theres no real test for diagnosing the mental illness. In other words, if you are at risk for diabetes, doctors have definitive tests they can use to predict your risk and to monitor progression of the disease, if already present. Nothing like this exists for predicting and monitoring schizophrenia.

Even so, the schizophrenia brain scans produced by sophisticated machines, like the MRIs and MRSs mentioned above, indicate structural differences in certain areas of the brain of affected people.

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Schizophrenia Symptoms Linked To Features Of Brain’s

  • e, thought to underlie the delusions and hallucinations of schizophrenia, rises abnormally in the striatum
  • d, influencing the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. But our latest research shows that organs, other than the brain, also change at the.
  • 2013: More research was conducted in attempt to analyze the effect of antipsychotics treatment compared to the illness in regards to brain structural changes associated with schizophrenia. Researchers conducted a review utilizing all electronic database records up to April 2012 involving MRI scans among those being treated with antipsychotics
  • e dysregulation, the multiple environmental and genetic risk factors influence diagnosis by affecting other aspects of brain function that underlie negative and cognitive symptoms. Schizophrenia is thus dopa
  • Schizophrenia is associated with considerable disability and may affect educational and occupational performance. People with schizophrenia are 2 – 3 times more likely to die early than the general population
  • e, a neurotransmitter, in your brain by blocking dopa
  • Early Symptoms Of Schizophrenia


    Because early treatment is thought to be most effective for schizophrenia, researchers are continually looking for ways to detect it before symptoms fully develop.

    Hallucinations and delusions are the hallmark symptoms of psychosis and must be present for a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    Although psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations or delusions are the most common aspects that present in schizophrenia, there are several symptoms involved. People with schizophrenia experience:

    • Positive symptoms: The appearance of things that should not be there, like hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder .
    • Negative symptoms: The absence of things that should be there, like loss of motivation, disinterest or lack of enjoyment in daily activities, social withdrawal, difficulty showing emotions, and difficulty functioning normally.
    • Cognitive symptoms: Problems with attention, concentration, and memory.

    Assessment of these symptoms is typically how schizophrenia is diagnosed, but the discovery of brain differences in people with schizophrenia could potentially mean an earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment.

    While schizophrenia is usually diagnosed in the late teens to early thirties, subtle changes in cognition and social relationships may be noticeable before the actual diagnosis, even during adolescence. Often these early symptoms are apparent years before a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

    Some of these early symptoms include:

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    Hope From Scans Of Schizophrenia In The Brain

    Imaging scans of schizophrenia in the brain have helped researchers locate a small area of the brain that may help them predict whether people will develop schizophrenia with 71 percent accuracy for high-risk patients. The study results, which appear in the September 2009 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, pinpoint the exact area of a part of the brain that shows hyperactivity in schizophrenics.

    The researchers used high-resolution MRI equipment to show what areas of the brain are affected by schizophrenia. The scientists discovered three areas of the schizophrenic brain that differed from normal brains two areas in the frontal lobes and one very small area of the hippocampus, known as CA1. Weve always known that schizophrenics have a more active hippocampus, the area used for memory and learning, but this study pinpoints the exact spot of hyperactivity in patients with the illness.

    This discovery brings new hope and promise to those at risk for developing a schizophrenic brain and for those already suffering from it. Doctors hope that once researchers further develop the findings, that they can use this as a diagnostic marker to predict whether certain high-risk patients will go on to develop full-blown psychosis after prodrome. They also hope to use the CA1 subfield marker in the hippocampus to indicate the efficacy of treatments. For example, a decreased amount of activity in the area could indicate the success of treatment strategies.

    Schizophrenia And Cerebral Asymmetry

    Neuropathological findings have been prominent in maintaining the persistent belief that there is an important interaction between schizophrenia and cerebral asymmetry . Interest in this question was rekindled by the report that schizophrenia-like psychosis is commoner in temporal lobe epilepsy when the focus is in the left hemisphere , and has been reinforced by the observations in schizophrenia of decreased left parahippocampal width and ventricular enlargement limited to the left temporal horn . Several other recent reports indicate that normal asymmetries are reduced or even reversed in schizophrenia, and that the pathological findingsas well as neuropsychological, neurochemical and electrophysiological abnormalitiesare more pronounced in the left hemisphere .

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    How Does Mental Illness Affect The Brain

    Now that we understand what mental illness actually is as well as how it manifests itself in our brain and behavior we can better understand how mental illness affects the brain itself.

    As the organ most responsible for our behavior, decision making, and emotions, our brain is directly impacted by mental illness. But as scientists continue research into the human brain, they have found evidence that mental illness may cause or worsen existing disruptions to the way the brain works, and in some cases, even the way the brain is structured. In other words, while we still dont know exactly why some mental illnesses occur the way they do, we have much greater insight today than ever before into the relationship between our brains chemistry and our mental health.

    Neurotransmitters and The Brain

    To begin, its helpful to understand the makeup of the brain itself.

    As we know, our brains control the way we think, act, move, and feel. Even processes that dont require conscious thought like breathing or blinking are controlled by the brain through our autonomic nervous system, which sends messages from our brain through our spine and nerves to different parts of our body.

    There are many different types of neurotransmitters responsible for sending different types of messages. Among the most common neurotransmitters are listed below.

    Mental Illness and Neurotransmitters

    Dopamine and Mental Health Disorders

    Other issues linked to low levels of dopamine include:

    Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia

    What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

    Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

    Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating brain and behavior disorder affecting how one thinks, feels and acts. People with schizophrenia can have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy, expressing and managing normal emotions and making decisions. Thought processes may also be disorganized and the motivation to engage in lifes activities may be blunted. Those with the condition may hear imaginary voices and believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.

    While schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, it can be treated with medication, psychological and social treatments, substantially improving the lives of people with the condition.

    A moving presentation by Dr. Kafui Dzirasa on Schizophrenia
    View Webinar on Identifying Risk Factors and Protective Pathways for Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.

    Learn more about childhood-onset schizophrenia from this expert researcher:

    Find answers to more questions about Schizophrenia in our Ask the Expert section.

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    Additional Consultation Needed For Diagnosis

    Following any scans or tests, a healthcare professional may make a referral to a mental health expert who has more specialized knowledge on the subject. It is also common for healthcare professionals to speak with the friends and/or family of a person who is showing signs of schizophrenia.

    If schizophrenia is diagnosed, then the person with schizophrenia and their support team will work on a treatment plan together.

    Primary Cause Of Schizophrenia Essay

    primary cause of schizophrenia, its history, origin, symptoms, and treatment. The paper will look at the validity of various treatments used and the successful utilization of cognitive therapy. We will express how successful diagnosis and treatment will only be effective by considering both the roles that biological and environmental factors play in diagnosing schizophrenia, and its effective therapies. Schizophrenia is a life threatening disorder the effects the brains perceptions of

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