Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition causing a range of different psychological symptoms. It has been described by professionals as a type of psychosis. Psychosis means a person is not always able to determine their own thoughts from actual reality.
Some of the symptoms of Schizophrenia can include confused thoughts that may be based on hallucinations and unusual beliefs. These unusual beliefs are often referred to as delusions.
As a result of this mental illness patients can become self-isolated, they may avoid self-care and good personal hygiene. Social interaction may also become somewhat difficult and in some cases, avoided completely.
Some patients share similar genetic abnormalities, such as missing specific chunks of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid). How these gaps contribute to the disease is still unknown. Although, it is believed by professionals and specialists in the field of psychology that Schizophrenia is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Researchers in Denmark looked into twins and found that if one twin had Schizophrenia, then the other twin with the same genes was also affected. This happened in 1/3 cases. Researchers also found that 79% of the risk of developing Schizophrenia was down to their genes. The study was carried out by researchers from The Centre for Neuropsychiatric Schizophrenia at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.
For Schizophrenia to be expressed there must be multiple alleles present. The rate of births of two Schizophrenic parents is under 40%. Many relatives of people with schizophrenia may carry a slight genetic susceptibility. Deletions of genetic material in any number of several chromosomes which can affect numerous genes are thought to raise the threat of Schizophrenia. In specific, a small deletion in a region of chromosome 22 called 22q11 could be involved in a slight percentage of cases of Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia has a tendency to run in families, but no particular gene is thought to be liable. It’s more probable that different patterns of genes make families more vulnerable to the disorder. However, owning these genes does not automatically mean you’ll develop schizophrenia. Two genes overlap with GWAS markers, these genes are called GRIN2A and SP4. This implies to us that although less than one in 10,000 people may carry the risky mutations, variations of the exact genes that increase the danger of Schizophrenia could be more widespread.
GRIN2A, and a third gene is known as GRIA3 code for brain receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate. Research has suggested that the Glutamate pathway is heavily entwined in Schizophrenia. This is because researchers have found that two drugs that block these receptors, PCO and Ketamine, can trigger Schizophrenia behaviors and symptoms.