Schizophrenia

Slow, steady waves keep brain humming

If you keep a close eye on an MRI scan of the brain, you'll see a wave pass through the entire brain like a heartbeat once every few seconds. This ultra-slow rhythm was recognized decades ago, but no one quite knew what to ...

Mar 29, 2018
popularity551 comments 1

Helpful B cells lend a hand to developing neurons

Neuron myelination is critical to early mental development, and defects in myelination have been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders. Researchers at Osaka University found that B immune cells reside in the brains of developing ...

Mar 13, 2018
popularity5 comments 0

Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/) is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient's reported experiences.

Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes appear to be important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Current research is focused on the role of neurobiology, although no single isolated organic cause has been found. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of discrete syndromes. Despite the etymology of the term from the Greek roots skhizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-; "mind"), schizophrenia does not imply a "split mind" and it is not the same as dissociative identity disorder—also known as "multiple personality disorder" or "split personality"—a condition with which it is often confused in public perception.

The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication, which primarily suppresses dopamine (and sometimes serotonin) receptor activity. Psychotherapy and vocational and social rehabilitation are also important in treatment. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self and others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are now shorter and less frequent than they once were.

The disorder is thought mainly to affect cognition, but it also usually contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion. People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional (comorbid) conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders; the lifetime occurrence of substance abuse is almost 50%. Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty and homelessness, are common. The average life expectancy of people with the disorder is 12 to 15 years less than those without, the result of increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate (about 5%).

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Resetting the epigenetic balance for cancer therapy

Though mutations in a gene called MLL3 are common across many types of cancers, their relationship to the development of the disease has been unclear. Now, a Northwestern Medicine study has identified an epigenetic imbalance ...

Cell types underlying schizophrenia identified

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and University of North Carolina have identified the cell types underlying schizophrenia in a new study published in Nature Genetics. The findings offer a roadmap for the development ...

Clues found to early lung transplant failure

Among organ transplant patients, those receiving new lungs face a higher rate of organ failure and death compared with people undergoing heart, kidney and liver transplants. One of the culprits is inflammation that damages ...