Outline And Evaluate Psychological Explanations Of

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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterised by 'abnormal' thought processes, psychomotor problems, lack of motivation, and disturbance of affect. SCH consists of a variety of symptoms and is extremely complex. It is believed to be a series of separate disorders that have been placed under this diagnosis. Currently there is not one explanation that can completely explain the cause of why schizophrenia happens, however there are many approaches from both biological and psychological areas that attempt to explain it. One of the biological theories of schizophrenia is the Dopamine Hypothesis. This is a biochemical explanation that suggests the disorder is caused by an excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. The main evidence for this has come from studies on both living and post-mortem brains of sufferers from schizophrenia, and also from observations made during drug therapies. This theory acts as one explanation of how the genetic theory may work, in that certain genes that are inherited could cause an increase in dopamine production or receptor density. Originally, studies of the brain were carried out post-mortem; however with an improvement in technology it is now possible to generate images of living brains. One of the first post-mortem studies was carried out by Owen et al. (1978) who found that schizophrenic brains had a higher density of dopamine receptors than expected. This was support by Snyder (1976) and also Inversen's (1979) findings of higher levels of dopamine than normal. It could be debated that perhaps as these findings were from deceased patients that the results do not represent what is occurring in living brains Further support was presented as the use of PET scans became possible. This technique allowed researchers to see and identify different areas of the brain using radioactive glucose. Studies such as by Wong et al.
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