Schizophrenia And Stem Cell Therapy


                               Schizophrenia And Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapies

Stem Cell Therapy

Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition in which individuals perceive reality in an abnormal way. People suffering this disorder usually present with behavior that is abnormal, according to the standard of the society. They often fail to understand reality. Some of the symptoms of this disease include visual hallucinations, untrue beliefs, incoherent thinking, auditory hallucinations, reduced social interaction, apathy, lack of expression and they also generally lack motivation. People affected by this disease might also have additional disorders such as depression, anxiety, and drug abuse. The symptoms of this disease usually begin when the affected people and still young and continues till they are adults. Schizophrenia has been said to be caused by two major factors, which are genetic and environmental factors. Some examples of environmental factors include the use of marijuana, infections, age, and nutrition. Genetics also play an important role in the development of the disease. Schizophrenia is diagnosed based on presenting symptoms. It can be treated with medications, alongside some psychology treatment. The job of the psychologist is to try to rewire the mind of the patient. Stem cell therapy has 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?

Schizophrenia presents with a lot of symptoms. However, these signs and symptoms present differently in affected people. The general symptoms of this disease are delusions, visual and auditory hallucinations, speech problems, and a general reduction in the ability to function. Below are some of the symptoms of the disease;

  1. Hallucinations: This can be described as a condition in which people see or hear things that are not reality. This is common to people affected by schizophrenia. The things they hear or see looks very real to them. They would never believe they were not real. In other words, they tend to believe in false reality. The things they see or hear carries so much force, and impact, just like that of a normal experience. Patients often experience both visual and auditory hallucinations, however, auditory hallucinations are more commonly experienced.
  2. Delusions: This can be described as a belief in something that doesn’t exist. The reality they tend to believe is false. As an illustration, patients might feel and strongly believe that an assassin is coming to kill them, or that they are superman, and they have super abilities, like flying or even stopping a bullet with their bare hands. This is common in people affected by schizophrenia.
  3. Speech difficulty: People affected by schizophrenia usually have a difficulty making meaningful sentences, or replying to conversations in a reasonable way. They generally do have an impairment in their ability to communicate. In addition, they sometimes lack the ability to string words together, to make a sentence that makes sense.
  4. Poor organization skills: People suffering from schizophrenia usually have a deterioration in their ability to organize and make good decisions. This is usually more evident when they have to make some executive decisions. They do make reckless decisions, no matter how hard to make sense. In addition, they gradually become very rigid with their opinion and do act weirdly.
  5. 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.

The symptoms of schizophrenia start when people are still young adults, and persists for a long time. However, this mental disorder tends to worsen over time. This mental disorder can also occur in children, although this doesn’t happen too often. Below are some of the symptoms of schizophrenia in children

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Children

  1. Teenagers affected by this disease might have difficulty sleeping.
  2. They might have poor results in their academics.
  3. 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.
  4. They also get irritated easily.

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.

  1. Genetics: According to statistics, about eighty percent 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.
  2. 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 amenities.

How Is Schizophrenia Currently Treated?

Schizophrenia is a chronic disease and therefore requires a life-long treatment. Physicians usually administer medications. 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.

Stem Cell Therapy And Schizophrenia

An experiment was performed on some rats affected by schizophrenia. Stem cells were transplanted to these patients, and they were restored to their normal healthy state after some weeks. The stem cells were essentially remodeled to repair and replace the abnormal cells in the brain. It’s the hope of researchers that this would be successfully replicated in humans in the nearest future.


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Wright, R., Réthelyi, J. and Gage, F. (2014). Enhancing Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models of Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, 71(3), p.334.