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Schizophrenia Definition and Description of the Disorder Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling thought and conduct websters dictionary The word psychotic is defined as hallucinations or delusions Schizophrenia is referred to as having psychotic symptoms Schizophrenia is a disorder that lasts a minimum of six months Some symptoms are delusions hallucinations disorganized speech and catatonic behavior Schizophrenia appears to be very complex and no one definition can completely describe it Each person with Schizophrenia seems to differ in their symptoms It obviously makes it hard for someone with Schizophrenia to decipher what is real and what is not It also affects all kinds of people of different shapes and sizes Most people with Schizophrenia can lead almost normal lives If they get the proper help Causing Agent No one understands exactly what causes Schizophrenia although research is progressing rapidly Some areas that are being studied are Biochemistry Schizophrenics seem to have a neurochemical imbalance Biochemists research neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters are what allow communication between nerve cells Cerebral Blood Flow Schizophrenics seem to have trouble coordinating activity from different areas of the brain This sometimes causes hallucinations Molecular Biology Schizophrenics have an abnormal pattern of brain cells Because these cells are developed long before a baby is born there are two different theories one is this abnormal pattern may be caused by the prenatal period Second it could be a predisposition to acquire the disease at a later time Genetic Predisposition Schizophrenia occurs in about one percent of the general population If you have one grandparent with Schizophrenia your risk of getting it is about three percent if you have one parent with it your risk is about ten percent if both of your parents have it your risk is about forty percent Associated Laboratory Findings Some laboratory findings have shown certain abnormalities in Schizophrenics Such as a
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