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Old Monday, November 17, 2014
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Default Schizophrenia

What Is Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history.
it may cause people to hear voices,see imaginary sight ,or believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them.
This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.
Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too.
Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help.

Causes

Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors.

Genes and environment.

Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families.
The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister.
People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population.
The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia. He or she has a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the disorder. genes factors are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations.
these genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development.

Other recent studies suggest that schizophrenia may result in part when a certain gene that is key to making important brain chemicals malfunctions. This problem may affect the part of the brain involved in developing higher functioning skills. Research into this gene is ongoing, so it is not yet possible to use the genetic information to predict who will develop the disease.

Different brain chemistry and structure

Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, interrelated chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters are substances that allow brain cells to communicate with each other. Scientists are learning more about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia.

Also, in small ways the brains of people with schizophrenia look different than those of healthy people. For example, fluid-filled cavities at the center of the brain, called ventricles, are larger in some people with schizophrenia. The brains of people with the illness also tend to have less gray matter, and some areas of the brain may have less or more activity.

Studies of brain tissue after death also have revealed differences in the brains of people with schizophrenia. Scientists found small changes in the distribution or characteristics of brain cells that likely occurred before birth. Some experts think problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections. The problem may not show up in a person until puberty. The brain undergoes major changes during puberty, and these changes could trigger psychotic symptoms. Scientists have learned a lot about schizophrenia, but more research is needed to help explain how it develops.

Signs & Symptoms


The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms

Halluciation
are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. "Voices" are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Many people with the disorder hear voices. The voices may talk to the person about his or her behavior, order the person to do things, or warn the person of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other. People with schizophrenia may hear voices for a long time before family and friends notice the problem. [/COLOR]

Delusions

strong held irrational and false belief due to an inablity to seprate real from unreal experience .People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others. Sometimes they believe they are someone else, such as a famous historical figure. They may have paranoid delusions and believe that others are trying to harm them, such as by cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying on, or plotting against them or the people they care about. These beliefs are called "delusions of persecution.

Thought disorders

are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called "disorganized thinking." This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. They may talk in a garbled way that is hard to understand. Another form is called "thought blocking." This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought. When asked why he or she stopped talking, the person may say that it felt as if the thought had been taken out of his or her head. Finally, a person with a thought disorder might make up meaningless words, or "neologisms."
Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others. Catatonia is rare today, but it was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available.[/COLOR]

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:

*"Flat affect" (a person's face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
*Lack of pleasure in everyday life
*Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
*Speaking little, even when forced to interact.

People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.

Cognitive symptoms

Cognitive symptoms are subtle. Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Often, they are detected only when other tests are performed. Cognitive symptoms include the following:

*Poor "executive functioning" (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
*Trouble focusing or paying attention
*Problems with "working memory" (the ability to use information immediately after learning it).

Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.
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