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Brain anatomy

Brain imaging studies reveal that people with schizophrenia have enlarged ventricles , the cavities within the brain that contain cerebral spinal fluid (Green, 2001). This finding is important because larger than normal ventricles suggests that various brain regions are reduced in size, thus implying that schizophrenia is associated with a loss of brain tissue. In addition, many people with schizophrenia display a reduction in gray matter (cell bodies of neurons) in the frontal lobes (Lawrie&Abukmeil, 1998), and many show less frontal lobe activity when performing cognitive tasks (Buchsbaum et al., 1990). The frontal lobes are important in a variety of complex cognitive functions, such as planning and executing behavior, attention, speech, movement, and problem solving. Hence, abnormalities in this region provide merit in explaining why people with schizophrenia experience deficits in these of areas.

Events during pregnancy

Why do people with schizophrenia have these brain abnormalities? A number of environmental factors that could impact normal brain development might be at fault. High rates of obstetric complications in the births of children who later developed schizophrenia have been reported (Cannon, Jones,&Murray, 2002). In addition, people are at an increased risk for developing schizophrenia if their mother was exposed to influenza during the first trimester of pregnancy (Brown et al., 2004). Research has also suggested that a mother’s emotional stress during pregnancy may increase the risk of schizophrenia in offspring. One study reported that the risk of schizophrenia is elevated substantially in offspring whose mothers experienced the death of a relative during the first trimester of pregnancy (Khashan et al., 2008).

Marijuana

Another variable that is linked to schizophrenia is marijuana use. Although a number of reports have shown that individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to use marijuana than are individuals without schizophrenia (Thornicroft, 1990), such investigations cannot determine if marijuana use leads to schizophrenia, or vice versa. However, a number of longitudinal studies have suggested that marijuana use is, in fact, a risk factor for schizophrenia. A classic investigation of over 45,000 Swedish conscripts who were followed up after 15 years found that those individuals who had reported using marijuana at least once by the time of conscription were more than 2 times as likely to develop schizophrenia during the ensuing 15 years than were those who reported never using marijuana; those who had indicated using marijuana 50 or more times were 6 times as likely to develop schizophrenia (Andréasson, Allbeck, Engström,&Rydberg, 1987). More recently, a review of 35 longitudinal studies found a substantially increased risk of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders in people who had used marijuana, with the greatest risk in the most frequent users (Moore et al., 2007). Other work has found that marijuana use is associated with an onset of psychotic disorders at an earlier age (Large, Sharma, Compton, Slade,&Nielssen, 2011). Overall, the available evidence seems to indicate that marijuana use plays a causal role in the development of schizophrenia, although it is important to point out that marijuana use is not an essential or sufficient risk factor as not all people with schizophrenia have used marijuana and the majority of marijuana users do not develop schizophrenia (Casadio, Fernandes, Murray,&Di Forti, 2011). One plausible interpretation of the data is that early marijuana use may disrupt normal brain development during important early maturation periods in adolescence (Trezza, Cuomo,&Vanderschuren, 2008). Thus, early marijuana use may set the stage for the development of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, especially among individuals with an established vulnerability (Casadio et al., 2011).

Schizophrenia: early warning signs

Early detection and treatment of conditions such as heart disease and cancer have improved survival rates and quality of life for people who suffer from these conditions. A new approach involves identifying people who show minor symptoms of psychosis, such as unusual thought content, paranoia, odd communication, delusions, problems at school or work, and a decline in social functioning—which are coined prodromal symptoms —and following these individuals over time to determine which of them develop a psychotic disorder and which factors best predict such a disorder. A number of factors have been identified that predict a greater likelihood that prodromal individuals will develop a psychotic disorder: genetic risk (a family history of psychosis), recent deterioration in functioning, high levels of unusual thought content, high levels of suspicion or paranoia, poor social functioning, and a history of substance abuse (Fusar-Poli et al., 2013). Further research will enable a more accurate prediction of those at greatest risk for developing schizophrenia, and thus to whom early intervention efforts should be directed.

Summary

Schizophrenia is a severe disorder characterized by a complete breakdown in one’s ability to function in life; it often requires hospitalization. People with schizophrenia experience hallucinations and delusions, and they have extreme difficulty regulating their emotions and behavior. Thinking is incoherent and disorganized, behavior is extremely bizarre, emotions are flat, and motivation to engage in most basic life activities is lacking. Considerable evidence shows that genetic factors play a central role in schizophrenia; however, adoption studies have highlighted the additional importance of environmental factors. Neurotransmitter and brain abnormalities, which may be linked to environmental factors such as obstetric complications or exposure to influenza during the gestational period, have also been implicated. A promising new area of schizophrenia research involves identifying individuals who show prodromal symptoms and following them over time to determine which factors best predict the development of schizophrenia. Future research may enable us to pinpoint those especially at risk for developing schizophrenia and who may benefit from early intervention.

Questions & Answers

does this apply to the career in applied behavior analysis?
Nicole Reply
Actually I really don't know much about psychology because my age is just 13 ..but I am interested in this subject.I feel it important..to know human behavior and about the world not materially but emotionally.. Can you help me from now to take the courses of psychology from now?
Nafisa
I can try. im only in my 2nd year
Nicole
I was recently diagnosed schizophrenic. after a lifetime of major depression. time I did hear voices not for long. how does one know if they really schizophrenic?
Cathy Reply
because psychology is the dissection and study of the mind, some find it hard to believe a diagnosis under mental health concerns. if you feel you have been misdiagnosed, go to another doctor. be 100% honest in all questions asked. to lie to your doctor is much like lying to yourself/hurting self
on the contrary, a diagnosed schizophrenic doesn't always have episodes. it may start off very mild and progress over time. it may also be triggered by events/situations/certain states of mind the patient may experience
diagnosed schizophrenics are normally prescribed a medication that can help. if you feel your medication is not working, or that it may make matters worse, discuss this with your doctor so he/she can make adjustments. what works for one person may not work for them all, and so doctors need to know
i want to study about psychology b'coz my father has a mental illness. iwant to help my father to healed from her sicknessed.
Layca
please whats the answer
Fortune Reply
answer to what?
Gaunt
what is mean by what?
Mohammad
to the questions ooo i can't find the answers
Fortune
Can you repeat the question or comment the page you saw it?
Haim
why they named it psychology
zayn Reply
telll me
ABDUL
the word "psychology" comes from the Greek words "psyche" meaning life and "logos" meaning "explanation".
Soma
Psyche, in Greek mythology was a goddess who comes to represent the human soul's triumph over the misfortunes of life. The term psychology was coined. Psyche, meaning soul or mind and the root "ology" meaning the study of. I hope this helped.
JC
well done
ABDUL
what is chunking
Ritika Reply
Chunking is a process by which individual pieces of an information set are broken down and then grouped together in a meaningful whole.
Azquan
chunking is to information as syllabus is to word
ABDUL
what dose it means, operant and classic conditioning in short words?
Mikiyas Reply
scientific method, critical thinking.
jeddy Reply
the dealings with the thought process and human behavior.
jeddy
for acquiring knowledge by experimentation.
jeddy
study scientific study of mind and behavior.
jeddy
scientific study of the human mind and behavior.
jeddy
hey jeddy I have question s for you
Yussuf
hi what is behavioralism ?
jusem
what is psychology..?
Ania
the science of mental life.
Mikiyas
it focuses on understanding and modifying human behaviour
ABDUL
because emotion can't be measured.
marikrizz Reply
only by the person having the emotion.
Jason
it is subjective feeling
suman
only placed within levels of itself
Teena
and accepted as extended or beginning versions of emotions that are completely free of restrictions
Teena
anyone know, (2+2)/2
start
Emotions can't be measured, but they can be recognized. To be able to recognize certain characteristics that'll give me an idea about an individual's state of mind.
jeddy
any one knows (2+2)/2
start
it is 6
suman
anyone (2+2)/2
start
2
fadil
😂
suman
then more then just recognize but to comprehend the emotions being observed separating your own emotions from the situation currently in.. and rationally gaging the environment.. while then pulling each possible emotional vibe or energy exerted from the human being observed
Teena
How does learning influence behaviour
Tumpa Reply
our choice of study molds us and encourages us to practice what we learn. social structure also changes behavior based on the environment and peers. how we learn can be experimental as not everyone lesrns the same. some are more of a hands-on absorber, whereas others may learn better from listening
A confidence from personal knowledge. Not from having been taugbt. knowledge that you learned what was taught.
jeddy
life is choice, be ready for the best and be prepare for what yet to come in your way(Destiny)
Wayne
what is development
Momna Reply
In what Context are you referring to
Hassan
the progression/degression/growth of something. it is interpreted most commonly in psychology as how something is created or formed. ex: When did you develop an interest in psychology?
when refering to physical, cognitive, and social development, these types of development are determined by many circumstances. such as demographics, biology, and personality/character
it is the apprehensions fluency based by the process of configurations to a design based on product/witness series noticeboards to note the stats on order to retail agreements on stated series order.
Kay
Evolving
jeddy
I'm on my first year of a psychology course, is there anything I should know? anything you wished you knew when you just started psychology ? because I feel like I'm walking into all of this blindly
Lia Reply
hello
GOPAL
I feel exactly the same. Just about to start Psychology and Criminology. feeling slightly nervous 🙈
Sarah
and everything is online
Lia
only for a few weeks I believe. Unless I have read it wrong. I believe that they will try and filter everyone in.
Sarah
it's different for every country
Lia
hi
GOPAL
I start 9/14. Online as well.
LaQuisha
I know very little about Psychology
GOPAL
which area are you specialising in
Elle
yeah, everthing your just know, that psychology is everthing come out with, mind, behavior and emotion. and believe, once you study it, you will understand, wjy people act like that.
EDWARD
Don't be in the class with pre notions.. yh
ABDUL
after a successful job interview,Mr.Abhishek felt relaxed and calm,he stopped sweating and felt hungry,which part of his nervous system was activated
Babaljeet Reply
Hypothalamus
Words
what is the Borysenko model and why is it important?
Sarah
It explains the link between stress and diseases ie.. How long term stress on the mind or body can lead to chronic migraines, ulcers, depression...
Jennifer
I understand there is a link between stress and illness and disease. that when you are in high-stress situations for prolonged periods of time that the brain releases an abundance of stress hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, and aldosterone. idk anymore than that.
Sarah
what is the strees anger
Divya
what is difference between illness and disease
Umair
anyone knows (2+2)/2
start
Hy everybody any one who can help me to understand the concept of Structuralism in easy words?
sabiha Reply
If you really considered looking into yourself find the reason of the possibilities or the environment and atmosphere in which you're placed with or without choice in voluntary or involuntary from birth to now, and also consider all existential extensions of yourself including spiritual recognition.
Darling
? and compare them to social,judicial, learned events,experiences, influences and dive into there branches? somehow reflects our mechanic motivations and has an effect on who we are and what we represent. ?😲
Darling
critical evaluation on attitude change and formation those that even exist
COMORDOR
who is considered of a father of psychology
Satyendra Reply
Freud
Lithemba
Immanuel Kant: Critique of Pure Reason.
David
wundt
Namrata
Wundt
Disha
wundt
NishaOfficial
wundt
Naheed
wundt
Jasmine
id say freud but wundt continued his work. let's face it without freud there wouldn't be a psychology practices
Michelle
Freud is considered as the father of Psychoanalysis not psychology
Indefatigable
technically Freud would be the father of psychology because he discovered the id ego and super ego
Bryce
Its kind of a loaded question. There are many early greats in psychology each having their own theories and views. I think it is more of a collective of ideals that make up our current view and understanding of psychology.
Jason
I agree with you Jason. there are Amazing psychologist back then that made the foundation for the field of psychology
Bryce
Wilhelm Winston ryt
Faazi
Wundt
Waris
i agree to you Jason
Welli
is there any name for the fear of dying painfully? is it the same as thanatophobia?
Matthew Reply
hello matthew i am new
Barbara

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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