Outline and Evaluate One or More Biological Explanations for Schizophrenia

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Outline and evaluate one or more biological explanations for schizophrenia The biochemical explanation is one explanation for the cause of schizophrenia in terms of the release of neurotransmitters. This suggests that schizophrenia could be caused by an excess amount of dopamine in the brain. This is due to receptor cells requiring dopamine to fire so with a large amount of dopamine present it is activated too much and too many messages are sent. This is what could account for the confused and the erratic behaviour which is seen in schizophrenic patients. Support for this theory is the effect of amphetamines. These drugs work by increasing the levels of dopamine. When the drugs given to a non- schizophrenic the individual has been found to develop schizophrenic-like symptoms, this therefore suggests that the increased dopamine levels is likely to be linked to the disorder. Furthermore patients with schizophrenia have been found to have symptoms worsen when they have taken amphetamines. Grilly had found people with Parkinson’s disease (low levels of dopamine) who were taking the drug L-dopa to raise their levels of dopamine were developing schizophrenic type symptoms. There is a flaw with one of the key pieces of evidence to support the dopamine hypothesis. The drugs used to treat schizophrenia by blocking the dopamine receptors can actually increases it as neurons struggle to compensate for the sudden deficiency. Haracz, in a review of post-mortem studies of schizophrenics, found that most of those studied who showed elevated dopamine levels had received antipsychotic drugs shortly before death, unlike post-mortem of schizophrenics who hadn’t received medication these results showed that these individuals had normal levels of dopamine. Therefore, this evidence then in fact weakens the support for the dopamine hypothesis. Further support is the use of
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