The brain has one of the most complex structure and operation in the world. It is no surprise that mankind has been trying to figure out how it function for the longest time and could manage to find out only very little. This is the case of Schizophrenia as well, a mental disorder that affects one’s perception of the real world. Researchers have been studying the condition for a considerably time and could only come out with relatively little findings on the causes of this mental disorder listed below.
Genetic and Environmental aspects
Genetic factors play an important role in the occurrence of Schizophrenia. Studies have proven that a person with family history of Schizophrenia is more likely to develop the mental disorder himself. Statistics in terms of propensity to develop Schizophrenia show that people with family history of Schizophrenia is rated 10% where as people without family history of Schizophrenia is rated at 1%.
However genetic factor is just an influencing factor and not a determining factor. Supporting this, 60% of people who suffer from Schizophrenia were found to have no family history of the disorder. Looking into the environmental aspect of the causes responsible for Schizophrenia, scientists have indicated that an elevated level of stress is accountable for triggering Schizophrenia, as increased stress not only causes several biochemical changes in the body but also increases the level of cortisol hormone.
Complications and insufficient care during pregnancy and delivery
Children born after complications in delivery are more likely to have Schizophrenia. If there are complications during delivery, this can lead to hypoxia in the neonatal brain resulting in higher possibility of the child getting Schizophrenia when he grows up. This finding was supported by animal model, epidemiological, molecular and genetic studies. Proper care during pregnancy to avoid stress and keep a good diet is an important factor.
Studies have shown that mothers who starve or are having malnutrition are likely to give birth to a child suffering from Schizophrenia. Through a study on pregnant ladies during Winter War of 1939, in Finland, it was elucidated that those pregnant women who knew about their husband’s death during pregnancy and hence underwent a lot of stress were more susceptible to give birth to a child with Schizophrenia, than the women who knew about their husband’s death after delivery.
During pregnancy, mothers who develop viral infections such as maternal genital infection are more likely to have a child who has a higher change to get Schizophrenia.
Several structural and functional changes in the brain can cause Schizophrenia. The frontal lobe, part of the brain that helps human to make decision is malfunction. Researches have long proved that people with Schizophrenia have usually large ventricles, indicating a discrepancy in their neurons.
There are still several molecular, epidemiological, genetic and animal studies going on in several laboratories and research centers to further decipher the causes behind the mental disorder like Schizophrenia. As world of medical science becomes more advance, we can gain more ground to understand this disorder and develop better treatment methods.