Table of Contents
Possible causes of schizophrenia development
There are many studies which tried to find the exact cause of this disorder and most of them came to the conclusion that there are many possible causes which usually act simultaneously. The possible causes of schizophrenia include:
1. Genetic causes
Since schizophrenia tends to run in families, experts have been trying to find the specific genes which increase a person's chance of developing this illness. Most studies, especially those performed on twins, have found that heredity plays an important role in the development of schizophrenia. If one of the identical twins who have been raised separately develops schizophrenia, the chance that the other twin will also develop it is 50%.
Some studies have proposed that an imbalanced level of a specific neurotransmitter such as dopamine and serotonin could be the cause of shizophrenia and this theory ius known as Neurotransmitter theory.
2. Abnormal brain development
Many studies of people with schizophrenia have found abnormalities in their brain structure.
The most common abnormalities are:
- enlargement of the ventricles, fluid-filled cavities, in the interior of the brain,
- decreased size of certain brain regions
- decreased metabolic activity in certain brain regions
Experts are also saying that schizophrenia may be a developmental disorder resulting from the inappropriate connecting of the neurons during fetal development.
There are several studies which have shown that viral infections may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Viruses that could be responsible for the development of schizophrenia are poliovirus, the flu virus and a virus called encephalitis lethargica.
4. Birth complications
Complications during pregnancy, abnormal fetal growth and complications during delivery are significant risk factors in the development of schizophrenia. Those that play a significant role in the development of schizophrenia include:
- complications in pregnancy including bleeding and diabetes
- abnormal fetal growth and development including conditions such as low birth weight
- complications of delivery including asphyxia and emergency Caesarean section
5. Head injury
Traumatic head injuries can cause symptoms of psychosis but it is still unknow how exsactly they induce schizophrenia.
6. Psychological causes
The main psychological trigger that can lead to the onset of symptoms of schizophrenia is a stressful life event. Social isolation is thought to pay an important role in such stresful sitiations.
7. Drug use
It is a common incorrect belief that drug use causes schizophrenia. The fact is that drugs do not directly cause schizophrenia. The fact is, however, that certain drugs may cause a disturbance in the brain.