welcome to disease section for schizophrenia 

Human brain with dopamine pathways (Dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia)
Human brain with dopamine pathways (Dopamine hypothesis of

In the brain of a person with schizophrenia, researchers found that something goes wrong with the communication system. Two neurotransmitters in particular play some roles in the development of schizophrenia. These neurotransmitters are called dopamine and serotonin. The "dopamine hypothesis" explains about the cause of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Hyperactivity of dopamine in subcortical and limbic brain regions contributes to positive symptoms of schizophrenia. Dopamine hypothesis states that dopamine abnormalities in the mesolimbic and prefrontal brain regions lead to schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia are reduced by blocking dopamine.

Human brain with serotonin pathways
Human brain with serotonin pathways

In the brain of a person with schizophrenia, researchers found that something goes wrong with the communication system. Two neurotransmitters, called dopamine and serotonin, in particular, play some roles in the development of schizophrenia. Serotonin is used to transmit messages between nerve cells and serotonin pathway connects to different brain regions. The cell bodies of the serotonin pathway are located in the brainstem area, "the raphe nucleus" which extends to higher centers in the brain including the neocortex and the limbic system (e.g., the amygdale and hippocampus). These neurons also descend down the spinal cord and control muscle activity. The function of serotonin depends on the region of the brain into which it is released (and type of serotonin receptor). Abnormality in serotonin activity plays an important role in schizophrenia. Sometimes blocking serotonin transmissions helps in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia causes
Schizophrenia causes

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder in which a person’s way of thinking, expression, emotion, interpretation or acceptance of reality, etc are disturbed. Signs of schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusions, extremely disorganized thinking and abnormal behavior, confused thoughts, etc. Schizophrenia is a result of culmination of biological and environmental factors. Causes of schizophrenia may be genetic inheritance, imbalance of dopamine, glutamate or serotonin (neurotransmitters), extreme stress, mind-altering drugs called psychoactive or psychotropic drugs such as marijuana and LSD, etc.

Brain anatomy
Brain anatomy

Brain is the centre of our nervous system which collects information (sensory system), acts on that information (motor system) and stores the result for future reference (memory). Schizophrenia is a progressive chronic brain disorder. During schizophrenia, three areas of the brain work differently from that of normal brains. They are two areas in the frontal lobes and one small area of the hippocampus (known as CA1 responsible for memory and learning). With the help of magnetic scans, researchers study the brain’s anatomy which depict various abnormalities in portions of the corpus callosum (for neural communication). The temporal lobe is also consistently documented with schizophrenic abnormalities. The subcortical structures of thalamus, basal ganglia, etc also function abnormally during schizophrenia.

Causes of schizophrenia
Causes of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that mostly appears in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is characterized by delusions, hallucinations, and other cognitive difficulties in a person. Schizophrenia is a serious mental problem that interferes with a person's ability to think, manage emotions, and make decisions. (Image author: Shawncho)

Schizophrenia brain scans
Schizophrenia brain scans

The image shows brain areas more active in controls than in schizophrenia patients during a working memory task during a fMRI study. (Image author: Kim J, Matthews NL, Park S.)

Lobes that schizophrenia effects
Lobes that schizophrenia effects

Individuals with schizophrenia, including those who have never been treated, generally have been found to have enlarged ventricles in the brain. This has been demonstrated in more than 100 studies to date. (Image author: BruceBlaus)

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia
Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is characterised by thoughts that seem fasr from reality, disorganised speech or behaviour and decreased participation in social activities. Difficulty with concentration and memory are also common signs of schizophrenia. The most common early warning signs are depression, social withdrawal, hostility, extreme reaction to criticism, decreased attention to personal hygiene etc.