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Causes of schizophrenia

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The causes of schizophrenia are beginning to be better understood.
Schizophrenia has no known unique cause. Like many other psychic illnesses, it seems due to a set of factors that interact.



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Vulnerability to the disease would be transmitted genetically

Vulnerability to the disease would be transmitted genetically. The family members of a schizophrenic are ten times more likely to develop the disease than the general population. But genetics does not explain everything.
Indeed, in monozygotic twins who have strictly the same genetic equipment, the concordance rate is not 100% but 40 to 50%. Genetic factors alter the structure of the brain. In schizophrenic patients abnormalities have been observed in the white and gray substances of the brain, which have repercussions in particular on the anatomy of the brain and the nervous impulse (but not only).
Certain assumptions have been made: The environment may also contribute to the onset of schizophrenia. It can trigger many symtoms of schizophrenia
The role of the family environment in the development of schizophrenia seems difficult to define. For a child with a genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia, an affective deficiency or a high degree of overprotection may be among the factors influencing the onset of symptoms.
Psychosocial stress and epigenesis
According to the archives of Neurology and Psychiatry published in 2012 by Konstantinos Paraskevopoulos, Christian Bryois CHUV, Prangins Hospital in Switzerland, the social environment can also play a considerable role in the development of psychiatric illnesses.
Psycho-social stress can influence gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms, and apart from genetic predisposition for mental illnesses, we may have an "in vivo" epigenetic modification that will codify the basis of pathophysiology of certain mental illnesses.
Some developmental disorders in utero (maternal undernutrition, viral or bacterial infection, exposure to pollutants) or complications resulting in infant brain involvement at the time of delivery, in predisposed risk of declaring schizophrenia. Drug use in adolescence could also be a triggering factor.
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Drug use in adolescence could also be a triggering factor.

In adolescence, the need to rapidly acquire new relational modes (in relation to sexuality, the growing importance of the gaze of others, the acquisition of a certain independence, for example) could act as a abnormal functioning of the brain until then little visible. Early and in time diagnose of schizophrenia is vital.

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