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Understanding the Etiology and Treatment Approaches of Schizophrenia: Theoretical Perspectives and Their Critique

DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2016.64030, PP. 253-261

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Theory, Neurobiology

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This paper reviewed genetic, neurodevelopmental, and neurobiological perspectives to understand the etiology and relevant treatment approaches of schizophrenia. Although genetic and neurodevelopmental theories provide a substantial contribution to the etiology of schizophrenia, neurobiological one has its dominant stance in which it can explain causative mechanisms of schizophrenia, identify targets for treatment, and predict outcomes well. According to the neurobiology, onset and course of schizophrenia are well supported by the alterations in neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin. Based on this mechanism, antipsychotics have been widely used as one of the treatment approaches for schizophrenia. By following up the degree of patients’ responses to antipsychotics, treatment outcomes could be evaluated or predicted. Although neurobiology seldom provides information about identification or prevention of risk factors about schizophrenia compared to genetic and neurodevelopmental approaches, it has well-established scientific foundations, ability to guide treatment, applicability across age and culture, and usefulness as a research framework.


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