LIFESTYLE NEWS - Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder, but what about the hereditary nature of the disease?
This is a question medical professionals have researched for years and studies have shown that it comes down to the genetic make-up of a person living with the disorder as well as other triggers.
What you need to know
- Schizophrenia is passed down through generations, but no single gene is responsible for the onset of the disease.
- It’s a combination of genes that make people vulnerable, and even so, doesn’t always cause it.
- If one percent of the general population is at risk of schizophrenia, a person with a First Degree Relative (FDR) such as a parent or sibling, has a ten percent chance of developing schizophrenia. If both parents were diagnosed with schizophrenia, the risk increases to 50 percent.
But it’s not all genetics
- Exposure to certain viruses and toxins can increase the chance of developing schizophrenia.
- Malnutrition at birth can also increase risk.
- Chemicals, such as neurotransmitters of dopamine and glutamate, may cause brain fluctuations and imbalances, resulting in the onset of schizophrenia.
- The use of psychoactive or psychotropic substances by teens and young adults may lead to schizophrenia at a later age; this is due to the chemicals prevalent in illicit substances, which impact the brain.
- There is a link between auto-immune diseases and schizophrenia. However, only a small percentage of people with auto-immune diseases develop it.
It’s best to seek the opinion of medical professionals if you or a loved one exhibit symptoms of schizophrenia. These may include delusions and hallucinations, muddled thinking and speech, abnormal motor behaviour such as childlike silliness or extreme agitation, lack of personal hygiene and suicidal thoughts.
* Source: Supplied on behalf of schizophrenia24x7