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Outline Biological Explanations of Schizophrenia

  • Submitted by: ash5755
  • on February 26, 2014
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 827 words

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Outline and evaluate biological explanations of schizophrenia
Genetic evidence for explaining the causes of schizophrenia usually are either family studies, twin studies or adoption studies all of which rely upon correlation. First degree relatives share an average of 50% of their genes and research has shown the closer the biological relationship, the greater the likelihood that someone has of developing schizophrenia if the relative in question has schizophrenia. Twin studies have compared the difference in concordance rates of schizophrenia between dizygotic and monozygotic twins when both share similar environments. Most show a higher concordance rate in monozygotic twins illustrating the genetic link involved in predisposing individuals to the condition. Adoption studies go one step further in narrowing down a strong correlational link by ruling out the effect of environment on development of schizophrenia to illustrate the genetic link more clearly. They do this by comparing adopted children to their biological parents to determine links with schizophrenia.
Kendler found that first degree relatives of individuals with schizophrenia are 18 times more at risk of developing the condition as the general population. Illustrating the genetic predisposition within families who share genes, strongly supporting the genetic explanation as there is such a high concordance rate. However this study can be criticised because of its retrospective analysis after the disorder had developed, thus it may be more conclusive if a prospective study was conducted to show the ‘before and after’ effects within families. Tienari et al found the risk of developing schizophrenia was 4 times greater in adopted children with biological mothers with schizophrenia than those with ‘healthy’ parents. This again shows a strong genetic link absent of overriding environmental factors. However Wahlberg re-examined this evidence and found there was a strong interaction between genetic and...

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