Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Effects of Schizophrenia on the Brain Essay - 901 Words

The Effects of Schizophrenia on the Brain Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that affects one to two percent of people worldwide. The disorder can develop as early as the age of five, though it is very rare at such an early age. (3)) Most men become ill between the ages of 16 and 25 whereas most women become ill between the ages of 25 and 30. Even though there are differences in the age of development between the sexes, men and women are equally at risk for schizophrenia. (4) There is of yet no definitive answer as to what causes the disorder. It is believed to be a combination of factors including genetic make-up, pre-natal viruses, and early brain damage which cause neurotransmitter problems in the brain. (3) These†¦show more content†¦This was discovered when tests indicated that many patients better results with medications that affect the serotonin as well as the dopamine transmissions in the brain. (6) New test and machines also enabled researchers to study the structure of schizophrenic brains using Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). The different lobes of affected brains were examined and compared to those of normal brains, showing several structural differences. The most common finding was the enlargement of the lateral ventricles, which are the fluid-filled sacs that surround the brain. The other differences, however, are not nearly as universal, though they are significant. There is some evidence that the volume of the brain is reduced and that the cerebral cortex is smaller. (2) Tests showed that blood flow was lower in frontal regions in afflicted people when compared to non-afflicted people. This condition has become known as hypofrontality. Other studies illustrate that people with schizophrenia often show reduced activation in frontal regions of the brain during tasks known to normally activate them. 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