Introduction to Schizophrenia

Photo Credit: Medical News Today  By Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

Photo Credit: Medical News Today

By Monique M. Chouraeshkenazi 

        Schizophrenia is an austere mental defect and/or illness, which significantly impacts an individual’s cognitive, sensory, and behavioral abilities. The National Institutes of Health (n.d). states there are three classifications of schizophrenia: positive, negative, and cognitive (para. 3). Positive schizophreniais a type that ironically has a negative effect on an individual and is not necessarily seen in people who have a history of it. Some of the symptoms include hallucinations and delusional activity. Negative schizophreniais indicative of an individual’s emotions and behaviors such as antisocial disorders, not showing emotions or expressions, and difficulty with completing tasks, resulting in a deficiency to work and complete everyday responsibilities. Finally, cognitive schizophrenia can be unpredictable as with subtle cases, the illness can be dismissive and/or undetected, while the most severe population show significant memory effects of the disease, which impacts the ability to think, make decisions, and/or process information clearly.  

        Scientists have completed a significant amount of research to find way to detect and diagnose schizophrenia in the early stages. Such research has been within hopes of discovery a solution to treating the disease before it becomes too severe and/or find a possible cure. The authors were emphatic that postmortem research has shown that the hippocampus (parts of the brain that is responsible for the autonomic nervous system, emotions, and memory) plays a significant role in schizophrenia. For this study, pathophysiology played an important role in determining advanced matters in schizophrenia, as researchers found there was a link to the severe stages of schizophrenia and effects of the hippocampus. Nineteen human subjects volunteered in a controlled environment, which required specific criteria such as scoring no higher than a “two” on any symptoms tests that were outlined or were candidates for previous/ current “DSM Axis I disorder at baseline.”  Results determined as the disease progressed, the neurotic enzymes increased throughout other parts of the brain, affecting the hippocampus and decreasing the neurons. This evidence was integral in determining implications for early detection of schizophrenia.

          Understanding early detection is crucial to mitigating the severity of schizophrenia; it is important to research and observe children who may possess symptoms and treat it as an early on-set. There is a not a cure or a definite reason for schizophrenia, so it is important to be innovative and find key denominators. The authors researched 522 seven-year-olds who had parents that were diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Called the Danish High Risk and Resilience Study, the project focused on 202 children who had at least one parent clinically diagnosed with schizoid disease. Researchers used multiple assessments and found children whose parents were diagnosed were susceptible to higher chances of mental defects. Results also showed children who were prone to early mental disabilities—factors such as biological and social environment and socioeconomic status would play a role in their emotional, cognitive, and other sensory abilities. 

        With schizophrenic diagnosis, individuals suffer from other ailments besides psychological and behavioral concerns. Patients have difficulty distinguishing themselves from others and their own bodies, which are called disturbances. There is not any conclusive evidence as to why this symptom exists and research is needed to study this phenomenon sect of schizophrenia. Van Haren et al. used the Rubber Hand Illusion model to analyze body ownership of 54 schizophrenic individuals and a second control group, which consisted of 24 children with a minimum of one parent with schizoid disease. This experiment was compared to 33 children with at least one parent who suffered from bipolar disorder. Research found that there was a little to no difference between children whose parents had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to present a risk and be diagnosed with both diseases in the future. 

        Studies have shown there are multiple factors (hypotheses) in what causes schizophrenia. Also, legitimate experiments have been conducted to show specific neurological, biological, and other influences (i.e. environmental) on the connection between schizophrenia and how it is a systemic, mental illness. Miziade is currently completing an original study on how electroretinography (ERG) can highlight images within the retina that can provide early signs of schizophrenia. Because the research study is new, researchers do not have the results to discuss the correlation between analysis of ERG and its human subjects. The objective is to find evidence from retinal imaging within patients who are diagnosed with schizophrenia and compare such findings to its control group’s behavioral mannerism and the behaviors of the diagnosed subjects’ children. 

        Acar, Chen, and Cayirdag created a complex study on how schizophrenia can be linked to an individual’s creativity abilities. The study conducted was based on a meta-analytic approach from over 40 research studies (utilizing statistical data from multiple to studies to improve one’s credibility and reliability within his or her own research) and found that the measures of schizophrenia were impacted as “severe” or “acute” when compared to creativity levels. Their experiments were predicated on inpatients and outpatients, which showed a higher mean effect in the former than the latter. There have been controversial debates that schizophrenic individuals have a higher level of creativity and phenomenon hysterias. This research proved that those with subtle symptoms of schizoid may have a “creative side,” while those who possess more severe stages of the disease do not (because the severity overwhelms the measures of creativity. 

            Though there have not been any definitive answers on what causes schizophrenia, researchers have found possible links to specific viruses and the disease. For example, Kepinska, Pollak, Iyegbe, and Murray suggested that epidemiological and ecological studies have associated the influenza virus to elements within the brain, which could be responsible for schizophrenia. The scholars used a software program from the Delaware and Georgetown University medical centers called Peptide Match Service to observe proteins (schizophrenic, non-schizoid, and the influenza virus). The case-controlled study was utilized to analyze non-related and related schizoid (significant) proteins. Information was derived from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to determine analysis. Results showed there was a connection between schizoid-related proteins and the influenza virus “polymerase acidic” protein (2018). There was minimal difference between non-related schizoid and influenza proteins. 

Conclusion

        Symptoms of schizophrenia usually become apparent in individuals between the ages of 16 and 30 (“Schizophrenia,” 2018). Those who are diagnosed with illness have a long, challenging road, as the illness is not curable, yet. Now, only medicine and therapy can control severe episodes and mitigate the dangers of harming one selves and others. There has not been any solid research, though, an individual’s brain activity, heredity background, and biological and social environments can be a few factors (“Schizophrenia,” 2018). Researchers continue to conduct experiments in hopes finding definitive evidence of how schizophrenia is developed.

 

 

References

Acar, S., Chen, X, & Cayirdag, N. (2017). Schizophrenia and creativity: A meta-analytic review.

            U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28867517 (accessed on 2 June 2018). 

 Kepinska, A., Pollak, T., Iyegbe, C., & Murray, R. (2018). Peptide sharing between schizophrenia-related proteins and the influenza a virus may offer a window into the immune aetiology of psychotic disorders. U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5888418/ (accessed 2 June 2018). 

Lieberman, J. A., Girgis, R. R., Brucato, G., Moore, H., Provenzano, F., Kegeles, L., Javitt, D.,

            Kantrowitz, J., Wall, M. M., Corcoran, C. M., Schobel, S. A., & Small, S. A. (2018). 

            Hippocampal dysfunction in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: A selective review and hypothesis for early detection and intervention. Molecular Psychiatry.Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/articles/mp2017249 (accessed on 1 June 2018). 

Maziade, M. (2018). Retinal functions expressed in retinal imaging, contrast processing and electroretinography may decrypt early risk mechanisms and pathophysiology of schizophrenia and mood disorders and accelerate translation to the clinic. U.S. Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5888323/ (accessed on 3 June 2018). 

“Schizophrenia.” (n.d.). National Institute of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml (accessed on 3 June 2018). 

“Schizophrenia.” (2018). U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/schizophrenia.html (accessed on 3 June 2018). 

Thorup, A. A., Hemager, N., Ellergaard, D. V., Christiani, C. J., Burton, B. K., Spang, K. S., Gregersen, M., Sondergaard, A., Gantriis, D. L., Greve, A., Jepsen, J. R., Mors, O., Plessen, K. V., & Nordentoft, M. (2018). The Danish high-risk and resilience study – VIA7 – a prospective cohort study of 522 7-year-old children born to parents diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder – results on psychopathology, cognition, and living conditions. U.S. National Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5887726/ (accessed on 3 June 2018). 

Van Haren, N., Prikken, M., Van Der Weiden, A., Baalbergen, M. H., Aarts, H., Kahn, R. (2018). Multisensory integration underlying body ownership in schizophrenia and individuals at familial risk to develop psychosis: A study using the rubber hand illusion paradigm. University of Maryland: School of Medicine. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/44/suppl_1/S77/4957260 (accessed on 3 June 2018). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Monique Chouraeshkenazi