Biopsychological Analysis of Schizophrenia

I. Introduction

Affecting approximately one percent of the population across the world, schizophrenia is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder, and psychological dysfunction is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and mental processes, social isolation, and inconsistencies in behavior (Wilson, 2013). Kim (2016) describes schizophrenia as a severe mental disease that affects how a person perceives emotion and expresses realities. Schizophrenia is a neurobiological disorder that forms when the brain structure malfunctions.

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Diagnostic Criteria

Diagnosis of schizophrenia takes place when neurotransmitters undergo alterations. In this sense, inconsistent data from brain imaging reflect irregularities in dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin (Kim, 2016). The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, inconsistent speech, emotional expression, and unpredictable behavior.

Reasons for Choosing Topic

I have a friend who was diagnosed with the disease. We would get into arguments now and then. Professionally many patients with irreversible illnesses come to the hospital and may get schizophrenia due to the stress. If in the position, I would like to help patients with terminal illnesses diagnosed with schizophrenia since the condition makes it hard to administer medicine and conduct life-sustaining activities.

II. Discussion

Detailed Description

This condition has various symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, inability to function normally, disorganized thinking, as well as abnormal motor behavior. The disorder occurs worldwide, with its prevalence being 1% globally. In regards to diagnosis, males are likely to be diagnosed with the condition than females, who tend to be detected later in life. In men, the prognosis is worse (Laursen et al., 2016). Also, the condition has various subtypes, including paranoid, catatonic, residual, and disorganized schizophrenia. According to the DSM-5 (2013), “Negative symptoms account for a substantial portion of the morbidity associated with schizophrenia but are less prominent in other psychotic disorders. Two negative symptoms are particularly prominent in schizophrenia: diminished emotional expression and avolition” (para. 8).

Natural History of Disorder Description

Without treatment, the disorder has some developmental stages. The first stage is prodromal, which is challenging to recognize unless the condition has progressed. The other phase, active, is most visible. Symptoms, including delusions, and hallucinations are visible during this stage. The last phase is referred to as residual, and it describes psychosis mutation such that there are few apparent symptoms. With treatment, the disorder is well managed during the active phase, such that the apparent symptoms disappear as the treatment becomes effective (Correll & Howes, 2021).

Diagnosing and Managing Disorder

The initial diagnosis of the disorder is primarily concerned with ensuring that symptoms result from the condition and no other factors like drug abuse. A physical exam can be conducted to determine if other related complications are present and do away with other issues causing the symptoms. Screenings and tests can be undertaken to screen for drugs and alcohol to rule them out. Psychiatric evaluation is another approach that focuses on asking the patient questions to know about substance use, moods, and hallucinations. Methods for ongoing management include psychiatric evaluation and conducting screenings and tests.

Risk Factors

Genetic factors

This is the most estimated and most significant to contribute 80% to determine its presence. The probability of a household presenting a circumstance of schizophrenia is bigger if another household member has by now been detected with the illness. The amount the risk raises relies on the kinship degree with the affected member of the family.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Some of the lifestyle risk factors of schizophrenia include a family with the disorder history, a dad who is aged and has autoimmune abnormalities system disorder. Drug abuse during early childhood and adolescence and pregnancy or birth complications are also linked to schizophrenia.

Environmental Factors

Different environmental factors like migration, urbanicity, childhood trauma, cannabis, obstetrical complications, infectious agents, and physiological factors have been related to the risk development of schizophrenia.

Other Causes

Other schizophrenia causes include biochemical factors. These substances are found in the brain and include substances that cause the disorder. Dopamine is one such substance, and its imbalance can lead to the condition. An individual’s illness genetic predisposition can contribute to the imbalance. Family relationships are one of the theorized causes. There is no evidence supporting that family association can cause the disorder. Still, some individuals who have schizophrenia have sensitivity towards any family tension.

Nervous System Structures

Schizophrenia affects the brain structure. One of the areas is the prefrontal cortex. Here, a decrease in dopamine in the mesocortical projection leads to symptoms of depression. In addition, schizophrenia is associated with shortening dendritic spines of pyramidal cell neuronal processes. In other cases, the dendrites in the cortex of the frontal and temporal lobes become short.

Neurotransmitter(s) and Receptor System(s)

Research findings indicate that the etiology of schizophrenia is a result of altered neurotransmitters. In this context, the altered neurotransmitters cause irregularities in dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin production (D’Souza & Karmiloff-Smith, 2017). In this context, the central nervous system experiences changes in dopaminergic, serotonergic, cholinergic, glutamatergic, and GABAergic receptor systems.

Current Treatment Options

Antipsychotic drugs regulate abnormal neurotransmitters. Antipsychotics such as phenothiazines regulate dopamine release by blocking the D2 receptors. As a result, depressive symptoms subside (Lora et al., 2012). Natural or non-pharmacological treatment methods include therapy, communication skills training, and behavioral coaching. Schizophrenia involves several caregivers such as social workers, therapists, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and psychiatrists. Treatment of schizophrenia starts with treatment from home. Moreover, therapy sessions may take place in the psychiatrists’ office. In case of admission, the patient is taken to the hospital.

Future Areas of Research

Lumateperone is the latest medication to availed in the market for schizophrenia treatment. This medication is as well known as Caplyta and produced Intra-Cellular Therapies. The FDA approved Lumateperone in 2019 December. Other various amounts of lumateperone have been researched, and it seems that a transitional dosage (42mg) is most actual in decreasing positive signs during an acute aggravation of schizophrenia.

Various studies are being conducted across the globe on how to cure schizophrenia. An example is that recent research found that there may be other subtypes of schizophrenia through looking at the brain images. In the future, brain scans and other tools may be utilized to diagnose other types of schizophrenia (Roccella & Vetri, 2021). This will hopefully let individuals who are living with schizophrenia to obtain more personalized medication. Nevertheless, these strategies are still being established. Future studies ought to research the risk factors associated with the developmental pathology of the disorder. This entails finding out the likely causes influencing the disease’s pathology and etiology.

III. Conclusion

In conclusion, schizophrenia is a severe mental disease that affects how a person perceives emotion and expresses realities. It has various symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, inability to function normally, and disorganized thinking. Different environmental factors like migration, urbanicity, and childhood trauma are risk factors. Schizophrenia affects the brain structure and one of the areas in the prefrontal cortex. Schizophrenia involves several caregivers such as social workers and therapists. The brain and other tools may be utilized to diagnose other types of schizophrenia in the future.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental health disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed.).

Correll, C. U., & Howes, O. D. (2021). Treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 82(5).

D’Souza, H., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2017). Neurodevelopmental disorders. Wiley

Interdisciplinary Reviews. Cognitive Science, 8(1-2). e1398.

Kim, M. (2016). Understanding the etiology and treatment approaches of schizophrenia:

Theoretical perspectives and their critique. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 6(04), 253.

Laursen, T.M., Nordentoft, M., & Mortensen P.B. (2016). Excess early mortality in schizophrenia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 2016; 10, 425-438.

Lora, A., Kohn, R., Levav, I., McBain, R., Morris, J., & Saxena, S. (2012). Service availability and utilization and treatment gap for schizophrenic disorders: a survey in 50 low- and middle-income countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization90(1), 47–54B.

Roccella, M., & Vetri, L. (2021). Embracing the complexity of neurodevelopmental disorders. https://

Wilson, J. F. (2013). Biological basis of behavior. Bridgepoint Education.

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