Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which people affected display abnormal behaviour, and also have a reduced ability to understand reality. People affected by this disease find it difficult to interpret reality. This disease is a combination of hallucination, delusions, disorganized thinking, and abnormal behaviour, that impairs their daily activities, and functioning. Some of the common signs and symptoms of this disease include lack of motivation, unclear thinking, auditory, visual hallucinations, false belief and so on. This disease is usually accompanied by other medical conditions such as anxiety, substance-use disorder, and depressive syndrome. The cause of schizophrenia isn’t known yet. However, two factors have been suggested to be mostly responsible for the development of the disease. They include genetic and environmental factors. Some of the factors that might also contribute to the development of this disease include infections, poor nutrition, especially during pregnancy, the use of marijuana at a young age and so on. Genetic factors also play an important role in the development of this disease. Schizophrenia is mainly diagnosed based on the behaviour of the patient, and the report of people close to the patient, such as friends and relatives. This mental disorder is mainly treated by medications and counselling. Some of the medications used for the treatment of this disease include antipsychotics. Exosomes have shown great potential for treating this mental disorder permanently. Statistics have shown that the men are usually more affected by this mental disorder, as compared to females.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Schizophrenia?
Some of the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include the following;
- Delusions: This is a condition in which an individual believes in a false reality. As an illustration, an individual might feel that a certain gesture or comment is directed at him/her when it absolutely has nothing to do with them. Another example is an individual who believes he owns all the banks in America, and he walks into a random bank, to demand money. Delusions are more prevalent in people affected by Schizophrenia.
- Hallucination: This is a condition in which an individual sees, hears, or smells something that doesn’t exist. There are different types of hallucination. They include visual, taste, and auditory hallucination. It can affect any of the human senses. However, auditory hallucination is the most common.
- Scattered Thought and Speech: People affected by schizophrenia do present with impaired thoughts and speech. This largely affects their communication. They might give answers that are totally or partially unrelated to the questions asked. In addition, they might sometimes present with a condition, known as word salad. This is a condition in which an individual makes a speech, with meaningless words, that is difficult to understand. This is prevalent in schizophrenia patients.
- Abnormal behaviour: Schizophrenic patients might present with behaviour that odd in many ways. They might exhibit silly behaviour and can also be unnecessarily stubborn. Sometimes they exhibit a complete lack of response when they are being spoken to. Other symptoms include excessive movement and pointless movements.
- Negative symptoms: This describes the inability of the affected individual to function normally. As an illustration, the person might neglect his/her personal hygiene. Others symptoms include the loss of interest in their own daily activities, social withdrawal and so on.
- Apathy: Also, they tend to isolate and withdraw themselves from social gatherings and interaction. They generally do lack emotions, and might not show any concern even at things that should normally trigger their emotions. In addition, they tend to avoid making eye contact when they’re with people, and also not elicit any form of facial expressions when with other people.
It’s important to know that the signs and symptoms presented by patients, might vary, especially in severity. Schizophrenia symptoms do start in men mostly when they’re in the mid-20s, while symptoms start in women when they’re in their late 20’s/ Schizophrenia is rare in children, and also in people above the age of 45.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia In Teenagers?
The symptoms presented by teenagers are quite similar to those manifested by adults. Some of the common symptoms in teenagers include the following;
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of interest in playing with friends and family: They tend to isolate themselves, and usually wouldn’t like to associate with their friends. As a result of this, they avoid or cry when they have to attend birthday parties.
- Children affected are usually irritated easily
- Depressed mood.
What Are the Causes of Schizophrenia?
Genetics and environmental factors have been identified to play a major role in the development of this mental disorder.
- Genetics: According to statistics, about eighty per cent of schizophrenia cases have been attributed to genetics. People who have a relative or sibling affected by this disease have high chances of having this mental disorder. As an illustration, an individual whose both parents suffer from schizophrenia has a 50% chance of having the disorder.
- Neurotransmitter imbalance: It has been discovered that an imbalance in the level of brain neurotransmitters might be a reason for the development of this disease. Examples of these substances include dopamine and glutamate.
- Environmental factors: The environmental factor encompasses things such as the physical environment of the individual, drug use, nutrition and so on. Events such as childhood trauma, the demise of a loved one, have all been identified to increase the risk of developing this disorder. In addition, living in cities, with a lot of noise and pollution also contributes to this. This is why this disorder is more prevalent in people that reside in the urban, than in the rural areas. Other factors that play a role in the development of this disease are the use of illegal drug substances, unemployment, lack of money, lack of accommodation, and also lack of basic
How Is Schizophrenia Currently Treated?
Schizophrenia is a chronic disease and therefore requires a life-long treatment. It’s mainly treated by medications and psychosocial therapy. These drugs help to improve the symptoms of this disease, by regulating dopamine, an important brain neurotransmitter. In addition, psychologists would have to frequently assist the patient in working with to improve their social interaction skills. Dealing with schizophrenia patients isn’t that easy because they can sometimes get violent. Some of the anti-psychotic drugs administered are clozapine and risperidone
DeLisi, L. (2007). The Concept of Progressive Brain Change in Schizophrenia: Implications for Understanding Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 34(2), pp.312-321.
Marcatili, M., Marsoner, F., D’Agostino, A., Karnavas, T., Bottai, D., Scarone, S. and Conti, L. (2016). Establishment of an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) line from a patient with Clozapine-responder Schizophrenia. Stem Cell Research, 17(3), pp.630-633.
ROLE OF GLIA IN SCHIZOPHRENIA. (2012). Schizophrenia Research, 136, p.S61.
Wright, R., Réthelyi, J. and Gage, F. (2014). Enhancing Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models of Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(3), p.334.