For starters, the real cause of schizophrenia is not yet clear even to the world’s best medical researchers. But at least it has been medically proven that this condition normally emanates from the complex relations between environmental and genetic factors. It is therefore important to look at some of these factors so that you can have an idea of what schizophrenia is and how it can be dealt with.
Schizophrenia is viewed as a burly hereditary component. Relatives of a first-degree patient of this condition are at a higher risk of developing the problem than the general population. However, it is important to point out that genetics only influence the condition and not to determine it. Although Schizophrenia can run in families, research shows that about 60 percent of people suffering from this problem do not have relatives with the same problem. In addition, individuals who are genetically inclined to the condition do not always experience the problem. This is a clear indication that biology is never destiny.
Medical studies have somewhat revealed that genes inherited from another person, like in the case of twins, make the recipient more vulnerable to the disease. Then if this person is exposed to some of the environmental factors that cause schizophrenia, chances are that the person will develop the problem. Recent medical research on the environmental factors that trigger this condition has revealed a couple of possible factors. For instance, it is believed that mental stress is one of the major environmental factors that can trigger schizophrenia. This could be stress due to pregnancy, poverty, at work, and so on. Excess stress can easily cause symptoms related to this condition. This happens when the pressure in the mind causes the excretion of excess hormone cortisol.
Research also points to a couple of stress inducing environmental factors that are likely to be involved in the development of schizophrenia. They include the following
- Prenatal viral infections
- Insufficient oxygen during birth
- Contact with virus at infancy stage
- Parental loss during infancy
- Sexual abuse during infancy
- Abnormal Structure of the Brain
Although schizophrenia is mainly attributed to abnormal chemistry of the brain, at times it may be caused by abnormal brain structures. Some people who suffer from this illness show signs of enlarged ventricles of the brain. This shows a major reduction in the size of the brain tissues. It is also a sign of poor functionality of the brain’s frontal lobe. This part of the brain is responsible for decision making, logic, and planning. Studies have also revealed that abnormal temporal lobes, amygdala, as well as hippocampus are directly connected to the disease. Interestingly, studies have not yet revealed whether schizophrenia is as a result of the problems associated with any part of the brain.