Joshua Cole.

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You are here: Home Schizophrenia Causes



Schizophrenia is a complex disorder that does not have one single known cause.

There are four main theories/causes that are thought by scientists to be the most likely explanation of schizophrenia. However, these are not 100 per cent proven and research into the causes of schizophrenia is still being conducted.


Schizophrenia can run in families. If one or more close relative has schizophrenia the chances of developing it are increased.

Schizophrenia itself is not inherited but rather a genetic predisposition to develop the illness. In cases of genetic predisposition, there is usually a factor that will trigger the person into developing schizophrenia. Such as high levels of stress, life events, environment or even a viral infection.

Brain Chemistry

Although research into this area is not one hundred percent conclusive, there is much evidence to suggest that brain chemistry plays an important role in the development of schizophrenia. It is believed that chemical imbalances in the brain chemistry (particularly neurotransmitters, namely dopamine and glutamate) could be the cause of schizophrenic disorders.

Pregnancy and birth complications

It is thought by some scientific researchers that a viral infection during pregnancy, lack of nutrition to the foetus during pregnancy or complications during birth can increase the baby’s chance of developing schizophrenia in later life.

Brain abnormality

The use of neuroimaging has given doctors and researchers the opportunity to look at the brains of people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. What has been seen in the brains of schizophrenic patients is abnormalities in the structure of the brain (such as areas of the brain being to large or too small for example) and in the function of the brain such as problems with the metabolism within the brain.

It is important to stress that not all schizophrenia patients have brain abnormalities and that not al people with brain abnormalities suffer from or go on to develop schizophrenia.





You are here: Home Schizophrenia Causes