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Introduction to Brain and Behavior [NOTES] Part 16 -- I got a 92% in the course

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PSB 2000
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Schizophrenia  “Split” or “fragmented” mind  A disorder characterized by deteriorating ability to function in everyday life and by some combination of hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, movement disorder, and inappropriate emotional expressions • Symptoms vary between people (H and D for some; TDs predominate for others) • Some have brain damage, others don’t  Positive (additions to a person’s being) behavioral symptoms • Behaviors that are present that shouldn’t be • Psychotic: → Delusions: unfounded beliefs → Hallucinations: abnormal sensory experiences ⇒ Increased activity in the thalamus, hippocampus, cortex • Disorganized: → Inappropriate emotional displays → Bizarre behavior → Incoherent speech  Negative behavioral symptoms • Behaviors that are absent that should be present • Weak: → Social interactions → Emotional expressions → Speech → Working memory • Stable and hard to treat  Demographics rd • 1% of people in US; more common in US and Europe than 3 world countries • Rates are dropping and case getting less severe since mid-1900’s… don’t know why • More common in men, and earlier onset in men  Acute vs. Chronic • Acute: → Doesn’t seem to run in families → Quick onset, often in response to major emotionally traumatic event → High likelihood of recovery/doesn’t usually recur ⇒ But can develop in chronic • Chronic → Gradual onset, often beginning in late adolescence → Long-term course with periodic remission → With age, psychotic episodes get long and remissions get shorter  Genetics • Twin studies → MZ > DZ > siblings → MZ still have just 48% concordance…why? ⇒ Maybe a gene is activated in one and suppressed in another → Also, DZ > siblings ⇒ Share same amount of DNA…so what’s going on? Maybe more similar prenatal/neonatal environment for DZ twins than siblings • Adoption studies → More resemblance to biological parents than adoptive parents ⇒ One study showed that home (adoptive) environment must be somehow dysfunctional for effect from biological parents to manifest → Especially increased if biological mom is schizophrenic…could represent poor prenatal environment  Prenatal/neonatal environment • Prenatal and neonatal events that increase the risk of schizophrenia → Poor nutrition of mom during pregnancy → Extreme stress in early pregnancy → Premature birth → Low birth weight → Complications during delivery → RH-incompatibility (incompatibility in blood types) → Head injuries in childhood (cause or effect?) → Season-of-birth effect…maybe due to virus ⇒ Other infections in mom too: rubella, herpes, too. – mom is exposed to the virus → Childhood infection w/ toxoplasmosis  Mild brain abnormalities • Small, variable, we don’t see the same thing in everyone with schizophrenia → Some deal directly with symptoms while others merely just prove that there are differences in the brain • Thinner cortex, but same cell number, so what is lacking?
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