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The relationship between Dopamine and Schizophrenia

These areas are covered:

-What is the role of dopamine in schizophrenia?
-Discuss three types of schizophrenia and indicate what they have in common with each other and how they differ from each other.
-Discuss features of schizophrenia such as age of onset, how prevalent it is, and how it is commonly treated today.

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As this is for an introductory psychology class, I'm not going to go into great detail (there is a LOT of information that could be given on this topic).

The relationship between Dopamine and Schizophrenia has been researched for quite some time now. As you have already learned, Dopamine is one of the 7 major neurotransmitters in the human body (it actually is only found in the brain). It is implicated in many different disorders including Parkinson's disease, depression, and also schizophrenia.

Researchers have created the "Dopamine Hypothesis" in an attempt to explain the causes of schizophrenia. There have been numerous such hypotheses proposed (including those related to social causes such as lack of communication and expressed emotionality). This hypothesis is a biological hypothesis that states that schizophrenia is caused by biological factors. Specifically, it proposes that the brain of a schizophrenic patient produces more of the neurotransmitter dopamine than the brain of a non-schizophrenic. As a result of this increased dopamine, schizophrenics experience severe distortions from reality. This hypothesis is debated by many (especially with respect to the mechanisms involved), but there seems to be a lot of clinical evidence that supports this hypothesis.

There are 5 different types of schizophrenia found in the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical ...

Solution Summary

The relationship between Dopamine and Schizophrenia is described.