Understanding Schizophrenia: a Biological Approach
NAME: Maria Saldias DATE: 4-28-2011
TITLES OF ARTCILES:
1-“ What Causes Schizophrenia”, by John M. Grohol, Psy.D.& the National Institute of Mental health12,Nov,2006.
2- “The Concept of Progressive Brain Change in Schizophrenia: Implications for Understanding Schizophrenia”, by Linn E. Delisi. 2008
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder, which interferes with normal brain functioning. It is mainly characterize by major disturbances in perception, language, thought, emotions and behavior. Furthermore, it can also trigger ...view middle of the document...
REVIEW OF ARTCILE 1
Trough out the article, Grohol explores the different variants regarding the biological approach to the development of schizophrenia, by the use of modern biomedical research. In his first approach, the author refers to the genetic component of the disorder, where “multiple genes are involved in creating a predisposition to develop the disorder”. Grohol also emphasizes how factors such as prenatal and perinatal complications and other stressors can influence the development of the disease. Moreover, as regions of the human genome are being studied, the strongest evidence reveals that chromosomes13 and 6 may be responsible for carrying the susceptibility for developing schizophrenia.
The author also states how the disorder may be consequence of a chemical defect on the brain, more precisely the imbalance of the chemical systems of the brain, involving neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate.
Finally, Grohol addresses the effects of the physical abnormalities in the brain, and how these ones can contribute to the development of the disorder, as there have been several studies of schizophrenic patients on which abnormalities in brain structure, such as enlargement of the ventricles and decreased size of certain regions of the brain, as well as functions, have been detected. Furthermore, Grohol also addresses how neurobiologists have found that schizophrenia may be a developmental disorder as a result of neurons forming inappropriate connections during fetal development.
REVIEW OF ARTICLE 2
In this article, Delisi provides a historical background of schizophrenia from Kreapelin’s writings and discoveries to recent times. It also reveals how the disorder shifted from being consider a non-biological disorder to a biological disorder, due to two discoveries addressing the effect on neuroleptics in suppressing symptoms as well as the family adoption studies, which show it was not environment, but rather inheritance what determine who develops or not the disorder.
Furthermore, the article addresses how studies using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computerized tomography), reveal a deviation in brain structural size in chronic schizophrenic patients and those at the first episode of illness, such as grey and white matter reductions, regional volume reductions, loss of normal asymmetries, miscellaneous developmental abnormalities and caudate enlargement, as a result of medication.
Later on the article, Delisi questions how much the progressive change observed in the brain of schizophrenic patients is related to the use of medication, as a study made with macaque monkeys after administrating them neuroleptics, revealed that there was a shrinkage in brain tissue.
Delisi also emphasizes the idea that reports and studies have proven that cortical brain changes are presented “prior to clinical illness presentation and even before any prodromal symptoms (an early symptom indicating a disease) emerge”,...