Short Note : Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disability that affects the thought process of a person including what he/she feels and behaves. A person with schizophrenia appears to have lost touch with reality and is full of delusions and confusions.

Globally, schizophrenia affects 1% of the adults worldwide. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling for the individual and make him/her tough to care of.

Risk Factors

  • Schizophrenia is mainly found in people who have a family history of it. However, this is not always the norm and sometimes, people with no instance of Schizophrenia in their family may also start to suffer from it.
  • No single gene is directly responsible for causing Schizophrenia. However, research has shown that a combination of factors like environment and genes cause the disorder to develop.
  • The factors that lead to Schizophrenia are exposure to viruses, malnutrition before birth, problems during birth and psychosocial factors.

Treatment

Schizophrenia is usually treated with antipsychotics, psychosocial Treatments and coordinated specialty care (CSC).

Why is it in the news?

Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia and a team of Indian researchers have researched the genomes of over 3,000 individuals and identify a gene known as NAPRT1 that is linked to Schizophrenia. The gene encodes an enzyme that is involved in vitamin B3 metabolism and is commonly found in the patients of European ancestry who have schizophrenia.

Famously, renowned artist Vincent van Gogh and Nobel prize-winning mathematician John Nash suffered from this disorder. Nash, who famously worked on the game theory, had a Hollywood blockbuster “A Beautiful Mind” made on his life.

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