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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder marked by the loss of contact with reality Delusions hallucinations irregular thinking or emotions are the usual symptoms About one hundred years ago schizophrenia was first recognized as a mental disorder and researchers have been searching for a cure since The exact cause of schizophrenia is still unknown and scientists are certain that schizophrenia has more than one cause Scientists have developed dozens of theories to explain what causes this disease but researchers are focusing on three leading theories The Genetic Theory argues that schizophrenia is caused by traits in a persons genetic makeup As we all know a person has twenty-three pairs of chromosomes Each pair contains one chromosome from each parent In corresponding locations of each chromosome the genes for specific traits are located If there are mutations or if there is the presence of an extra chromosome genetic disorders occur For example Down Syndrome is caused by the presence of an extra 21st chromosome It is believed that problems with the genetic make up can cause schizophrenia Encarta 96 In an attempt to prove this theory scientists study identical twins Due to the fact that identical twins have the exact genetic make up researchers will be able to determine if heredity is the main cause of schizophrenia However evidence seems to disprove this theory This is because on some occasions both identical twins are schizophrenics and other times only one is inflicted To defend the theory it should be noted that this research is difficult and complicated Identical twins are relatively rare especially twins who are both diagnosed with schizophrenia Further defending the theory studies have shown that children with one parent diagnosed with schizophrenia have a ten percent chance of suffering from schizophrenia When both parents are schizophrenic their risk raises to about fifty percent 468 Myers The Biochemical theory is built mainly on stress that effects human behavior However most researchers agree that stress alone
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