ESL 91
FALL, 2001

Doris 1
Marie L.
Claudine 1
Claudine 2
Doris 2

Doris Alarcon
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.

When wehear aboutSchizophrenia, most ofus think that the person withschizophreniahas more than one personality. The truth is the victim withSchizophreniahas†† a mental disease characterized by unpredictable disturbances in†† thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior. The word Schizophreniais divided into two components, which are schizoand phrenia. Schizo means"split",†† whichrefers to personality†† and also focuswhen people are losing touch withreality. Phrenia means ď mindĒandrefers†† to a splitmind . There are manydifferentfactorsthat cause Schizophrenia.Furthermore,thesymptoms may bepositive or negative.We can reduce thesesymptoms with treatments thatcanbe useful to patientswith this mental disorder. Unfortunately , althoughit can be treated , schizophrenia is not curable.

The exactcauseofschizophrenia is unknown, but manyfactors are involvedin this disease. These factorsinclude changes in the chemistry ofthe brain, changes in the structure of the brain, excessive levels of dopamine, and genetic factors.Also there are other factors, which are environmental, genetic and biochemical.

There are several environmental factors.Differentialdiagnosisis one environmental factor . This factor occurswhen psychiatristsare concerned about identifyingwealthypeople as schizophrenics , so theydiagnose more poor peopleas having agreaterchance to getSchizophrenia.The second environmental factor is called downward drift. This factor occurs when people cannot stand their job and education and as a result ofthis they may become of low class. The third environmental factorhappens when people live in poor places withhigh crime rates, and as a result ofthis,theyget stress and atthe same time they get schizophrenia.

Anothercause ofthis disease is genetic factors. People who haverelatives with schizophrenia have a 10%greater chance of developing it. Researchers havefound that identical twins stand a 50% to 85% chance of sharing the disease.

Another causeof schizophrenia is biochemical factors. People with schizophrenia have a chemical imbalance in their†† brains. The brains of schizophrenics producetoomuch ofthe neurotransmitter,dopamine . Neurotransmittersallownerve cells in the brain to send messages to each othertomake†† the brainfunction normally. The brainsof schizophrenicshave too much of the brain chemical called dopamine.†† Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience enjoyment.

There are four major subtypes of schizophrenia andeach subtypehas different symptoms. Also there are positiveand negative symptoms. The difference between these symptoms is that a positive symptom shows clearly the attendance ofnot normalbehavior and alsomay be controlled . On the other hand ,†† negative symptoms , showthe absence of normal behavior. The firstsubtype is simple schizophrenia. Simple schizophreniahas positive symptomssuch as, hallucinations ordelusions .†† Inhallucinations, people maysee, hear, touch smellobjects†† thatdo notexist.Also, they mayhear voicesandtheyare the only one who can hear them.Indelusions theschizophrenic may believe in something that is nottrue. The second subtype of schizophrenia isparanoid and its symptomis delusions of†† persecution. The person may believe thathe or sheisbeing persecuted or harassed. Also,†† theydo nottrustanyone.The third subtype is hebephrenic schizophrenia. Here people may have a disorganized behavior, disorganized speech, unusual mannerisms and facial expressions. The fourth subtypeiscatatonicschizophrenia,wheresymptoms aremotoric immobilityand waxy flexibility. Alsothepeople with this subtype may have strange facial expressions, may mimic the behavior of others, and may repeat words that others say.

There is no cure forschizophrenia. Therefore, a schizophrenic needs lotsof†† treatmentto reduce his or hersymptoms. The firsttreatment is hospitalization and the purposeofthis treatmentis to evaluate and diagnose the patient,to stabilize the dangerous behavior and to familiarize the patients†† with treatment. There are also drugs†† that helpschizophrenics to reduce some symptoms;these drugsare called antipsychotic drugs. Drugs†† areuseful forreducinghallucinations and delusions. Unfortunately drugsdo notreduce other symptoms .†††††††††††

Schizophreniaaffects10% of the population. This diseaseaffects the way people think, their speech, emotions, and behavior. The victims with this disorder lose touch withreality.Environmental factors, genetic factors and biochemical factors are somecauses of schizophrenia.Whilescientists have notfound the cure for this disease, theyhave discovered treatments to reduce the symptomsofschizophrenia.

My Response

It was very interesting for me to learn about schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by unpredictable disturbances in thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior. However, poor people are more affected with this mental disorder because they have a lot of stress. Furthermore, the symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thought, disorganized behavior and difficulty expressing emotion. Also there are different subtypes of schizophrenia and these are simple schizophrenia , paranoid schizophrenia, hebephrenic schizophrenia and catatonic schizophrenia.

When I was in High School, I remember that an old man in the bus was always talking to himself and crying too. In those days I just wondered, what was wrong with him. He was always putting a bag next to him. I thought that he was mean and crazy. I think that he was just trying to be isolated from the people. Therefore, thanks to my research about schizophrenia, I have realized that this old man probably had the third subtype schizophrenia , hebephrenia, because when he was talking he had a strange facial expression and had very incoherent speech. For example, One day somebody asked him a question and he started talking like a person who did not know how to talk by saying words that were not understandable.

Learning about schizophrenia has been very helpful for me. Moreover, doing research about schizophrenia has helped to become more educated. When I was I in High School I did not learn and know about any mental disorders. As a result of this, it brought me negative thoughts about people who were schizophrenics and I did not know that they were schizophrenics. Nowadays, I feel proud of myself because I have a knowledge about schizophrenia .

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Daniel Calixte
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.

There are many mental disorders that are known to affect man, and each has its own ways of affecting. Schizophrenia is a brain disease that affects many people of the population. Many people are asking what is schizophrenia? What are its symptoms, its causes, how can it be treated and how does it manifest itself when someone has it?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe brain disorder that affects more than 2 million people in the US and several more millions around the world. It is a mental illness that affects men and women alike. According to researchers, although schizophrenia affects men and women at almost the same rate, the disease usually appears earlier in men. Often men are affected in their twenties, while women are usually affected in their thirties.

Schizophrenia can make a person lose contact with reality. It is a serious problem that relates to your brain; it makes you act differently from the others. When you are affected by schizophrenia, you donít have the same sense of reality as others have. There is a lot of confusion in your mind. This confusion affects your behavior in the society. In general a schizophrenic person is someone who has trouble dealing with the real world and everyday life. Schizophrenia sometimes is hereditary, so that you may get it from your parents or your previous generations. Schizophrenia is a biological problem in the brain.

There are many symptoms that relate to schizophrenia. Some symptoms of schizophrenia are the unusual things that you start to feel or things that you imagine. The symptoms of schizophrenia are: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and disorganized behavior. A hallucination is when someone imagines events or objects, which are not true or real. The most common hallucination is hearing voices that tell the schizophrenic what to do. Here is an example of a hallucination: My brother has hallucinations where he sees demons chasing him. A delusion is when you believe in your imagination, and you think that it is something real; also you might believe that someone is listening to your thoughts or reading your ideas. Let me give you an example. My father is 65 years old but he has delusion that he is a 17-year-old boy. Sometimes he dresses like 17 year old and even talks the same way they do. Disorganized speech is when you are talking to someone and that person mixes up everything that he/she says. So that person doesnít really stay focused on the topic that you are talking. When you are talking to someone like that you get confuse because that person is not on the same track as you. I have a friend whose speech is disorganized. He always answers questions that are not related together. The last symptom is the one called disorganized behavior; this one makes you feel like a stranger. The reason why I say that is because that behavior makes you feel like you are different from everybody. A person with a disorganized behavior often has a strange look. It also makes you misbehave in the society. Sometimes it makes you dress like a stranger.

There are several causes of schizophrenia, such as: Genetics (Heredity), environment and Biochemical factors. Many scientists have discovered that the disorder tends to run in the family. It is known that high stress (from the environment.) can lead to the development of schizophrenia.

Biochemical factors can also cause schizophrenia. The brain is not working like everybody elseís is and anomalies develop. The schizophrenic brain is really different compared to that of a normal person. Through a machine (PET. SCAN) that can scan the brain, the doctors can see into the schizophrenic brain. The result comes in colors that mean different activity in different parts of the brain. The yellow and red colors mean there is a lot of activity in the brain, and when thereís no activity in the brain, the color of the result is blue and black.

Today there are many treatments for schizophrenia, and the treatments have improved a lot of people that had schizophrenia. In this case you find that psychologists and psychotherapists play a wonderful role because they help people with that disease. But still there is a lot of work to be done because a schizophrenic canít really be cured 100%. However, with treatment, a person can feel very well and lead a normal life.

In conclusion, we find that schizophrenia is a disease that everybody should be aware of. It is a serious mental disorder. Everyone has to be careful with it because it makes you lose your way in the society. Schizophrenia makes you completely different from others. It makes you act abnormally because you do things that you are not supposed to do in the society.†††††††††††

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Marie Louis
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.

All over the world there are some people who suffer from schizophrenia.This psychotic disorder can be severe or hardly noticeable.It is one of the most important public heath problems.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is characterized by a break with reality.This means that when a person has this psychotic disorder, his behavior becomes strange and abnormal.The schizophrenic doesn't have the ability to think clearly and logically.

Schizophrenia most commonly starts in adolescence or early adulthood.This is not a contagious illness.Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia have no close relative who is schizophrenic. Some do not themselves develop the disorder even if their mother or father was schizophrenic.This is not a rare disorder because one in every hundred people has schizophrenia. However, this psychotic disorder appears earlier in men than in women.Men usually develop schizophrenia in the late twenties while women are generally affected in their twenties to early thirties.

There are four subtypes of schizophrenia.†† The first is paranoid schizophrenia.A person who is paranoid may think that they are great historical figures like Jesus Christ or the president of the United States.The second subtype of schizophrenia is catatonic.One symptom of catatonic schizophrenia is waxy flexibility, where a person can take a posture, and stay for hours like that.The third subtype is hebephrenic.Here, the hebephrenic person has poor performance at school or work.Their speech is very weak.The symptoms of hebephrenic schizophrenia are so gradual that sometimes they are hardly noticed the first time.The last subtype is simple schizophrenia.Simple schizophrenics can have some hallucinations.They may hear voices when no one is present.

There are some people who ask what causes schizophrenia?It is an illness that is caused by many factors.The environment is the first factor that can cause schizophrenia.For example if a person lives in a high crime rate area, the person has increased stress that the environment caused.So, this person has more chance to get the disease.The second factor is genetic. There is a heredity gene that has not yet been identified.Moreover, the disease does appear more regularly in some families.For example if an identical twin has schizophrenia, there is a 35-55% higher chance for the other to have the disorder.It is a factor that plays an important role in causing schizophrenia.The brains of schizophrenics contain a lot of chemical dopamine.When there is too much dopamine, this produces problems in the brain.

The best way to help people with this disorder is medication.They also need help from a mental health professional because suicide is a risk in schizophrenia.Treatment can reduce that risk and minimize the consequences.Anti-psychotic drugs are one set of medications that reduce psychotic symptoms.These drugs help to control the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.Some scientists are advancing in the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia.It is known that one gene which predisposes someone for schizophrenia is found or a chromosome.Scientists think that this gene does not act alone, which means that some people with the gene do not develop schizophrenia, while some people without it do.

To conclude, I think that this psychotic disorder can bring people in isolation. It can change anyone who has those symptoms.I think that the only way to reduce the chance of this psychotic disorder is to learn as much as possible about the disease, the causes, the symptoms, and the treatment.That could help us if the disease comes to family members. As a friend we will know how to deal with it.We just have to hope that in the future there will be a cure for this mental disorder.†††††

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Claudine Mondesir
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.

How can we describe schizophrenia?Schizophrenia is a kind of disorder that some people suffer. Schizophrenia shows some major psychotic symptoms such as: delusion and hallucinations. Schizophrenia has four major subtypes: simple schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, hebephrenic (disorganized) schizophrenia, and catatonic schizophrenia. The etiology or causes of schizophrenia have several factors: environmental, genetic and biochemical.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a problem with reality. People who suffer from schizophrenia have problems with the language and speak very differently. They say things without any sense, and they act without thinking.

Their personality is different by the way they act with other people. They are very emotional. They donít have friends and usually avoid people. Schizophrenia is characterized by a lot of symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations.

Delusions are false beliefs. If you suffer from delusions, your thoughts are different. These people will have a conviction that everyone is looking at them. People will do something very bizarre, as saying that person is coming to get them or kill them. However, hallucinations means that the schizophrenia may hear voices that nobody else can hear. They also often see or feel things that donít exist. They are very sick people.

There are four major subtypes of schizophrenia. The first one is simple schizophrenia. A simple schizophrenia may have hallucinations and delusions. They may hear voices that are not there or they may laugh for no reason. The second schizophrenic subtype is paranoid schizophrenia. Some one who suffers from paranoid doesnít trust others. A paranoid will insist on what he thinks and will never agree with any body. Even if someone tells them there is no reason to be suspicious, they wonít give up. Paranoid schizophrenic, are also defensive. They are always fighting off feelings of inadequacy, and they blame other people for no reason. Another type is hebephrenic (disorganized) schizophrenia. This is characterized by a total break with reality. Hebephrenics donít have contact with the society; they lose contact and their behavior is very disorganized. Their speech is very bizarre; you cannot understand what they are saying. People who have this type of schizophrenia have a very serious problem and personality disorganization. The last type is catatonic schizophrenia. In catatonic the person may seem to be in a total panic. Catatonic schizophrenic can bring about a condition where person can stay for a longtime in the same position. Sometimes they are very immobile. For exampleĒ Sum (1975) describes Manuel saying, the catatonic appeared to be physically healthy on examination. Yet he did not regain his awareness of his surroundings. He remained motionless, speechless and seemingly unconscious. One evening an aide turned him on the side to straighten out the sheet, was called away to tend another patient, and forgot to return. Manuel was found the next morning still on his side, his arm tucked under his body, as he had been left the night before.

Schizophrenia is caused by many factors as environmental, genetic and biochemical. The environmental is the most complicated one. It affects people differently. It can affect any one at any time in life. For example if you are pregnant and you have a virus at the time of the birth; the baby can possibly have something wrong in his brain during his life. Also there are some people who have lower income. These people can more likely have high stresses play a big role also. People whose parents or identical twin suffer from schizophrenia are more likely to become schizophrenics the brain of schizophrenics. Dopamine is an important substance found in the brain. If you have too much dopamine in your brain it can affect your behavior and emotion. Too much dopamine is related to hallucinations and delusions.

Schizophrenia is a very serious disorder. Schizophrenia has been treated most with drug therapy, and supervision. Those treatments have been available since 1950 and there are also three other medical techniques used to treat schizophrenia. The first, called ct, or computer photography, is a computer-enhanced x-ray. It is used to take a picture of the brain. The MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) can see inside the brain and other areas that look abnormal (Debrief et al. 1992; Forager et al 1996; Guru et al 1998). The third technique, called PET-scan (Position mission photography), provides an image of brain activity. The PET-scan allows doctors to see how the brain is working. Other treatments are antipsychotic drugs. The antipsychotic drugs allow the patient to function move effectively and reduce symptoms of schizophrenia like hallucinations and delusions.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that makes it difficult for people to behave and think normally. People with schizophrenia see the reality differently. They need to have good treatment, and they need the helps of a doctor who is very good. There is no cure? With medication I think they will resolve the problem.††††

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Jorel Pierre
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia. Be sure to talk about the biological bases of the disorder.

In life people suffer with so many different kinds of illnesses. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects many people .In fact schizophrenia is one of the most prevalent, common health problems in our society. Most people have questions about the symptoms, the causes and how can it be treated.

Schizophrenia is a very common illness-affecting people all over the world. Schizophrenia is a kind of disease, which can affect people at any age. Schizophrenia is a mental disease, which affects peopleís lives all over the world. It makes them lose their minds and even forget the way of reality; it usually affects young people from age 14 to 27 years old. It also affects more men than women. In most cases schizophrenia also can make people incoherent, and leads to illogical, false thinking. Some people who have schizophrenia look strange sometimes and their responses are clearly false. In fact people who have schizophrenia do not see things in the same way as others do. Individuals with schizophrenia have the bizarre beliefs.†††††††††††

People with schizophrenia are not especially prone to violence. Most individuals with schizophrenia really are not violent; in fact they are more typically withdrawn and they also prefer to be alone by themselves. In most cases persons with schizophrenia do not commit a higher percentage of violent crimes. Studies, done by department of mental illness and criminal violence indicate that, except for those persons with a record of criminal violence before becoming ill and those with substance abuse or alcohol problems, schizophrenics do not commit crimes.††††††††††††

Apparently a schizophrenic person is an individual who has problem dealing with reality. Schizophrenia is a hereditary disorder that some people may get from their parents or grandparents. Schizophrenia is a biological problem in the human brain. Approximately 10 percent of schizophrenics commit suicide especially young adult males. However the prediction of suicide in people with schizophrenia really can be very difficult.††

According to scientists schizophrenia is an illness that is caused by many factors. Brain abnormalities and genetics are the most common causes of schizophrenia. The brain actually gets bigger, and ventricles in the interior of the brain also decrease in size in certain regions of the brain. A lack of protein in the brain can cause schizophrenia because the function of the protein is to filter out the sensory information. The environment is also a factor that can cause schizophrenia. Poor people are usually more likely to develop schizophrenia.†††††

There are many symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations, (where people may hear or have feelings about something, which does not exist), and delusions (where people may not trust no one and may feel anxious or angry most of the times) .A schizophrenic person may also become violent. Some schizophrenicís person may have aggressive behavior. Schizophrenic persons are incapable of taking part in some kind of dialogue or conversation with family and friends. Schizophrenics also lose the ability to think clearly and logically.††††††

Scientists do not yet know the treatment for schizophrenia. The current treatment methods are based on both clinical research and experience.Maybe medication can reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications have been available since the mid-1950s. These drugs have greatly improved the outlook for patients. These medications can reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and usually allow the patients to function more effectively and appropriately. Supportive counseling and psychotherapy may also be appropriate for these individuals. Friendship and encouragement can be very helpful during this process. In most cases relatives and friends can also assist in rebuilding the personĎs social skills. Such support is very important.

Schizophrenia is a disorder that makes people lose touch with reality. The schizophrenic person may be unable to take care of his/her needs. So everybody should be aware about schizophrenia because itĎs a serious illness. It can lead people to disturbances of thought, behavior and even communication. Schizophrenics donít really enjoy life like everybody else. They are not living in a normal atmosphere.

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Claudine Mondesir
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Research the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Explain how this neurotransmitter works and what its function is in the body and the brain. Be sure to concentrate on how dopamine affects behavior. What happens when something goes wrong in the system; for example, when there is too much or too little dopamine? What treatments are there?

Neurotransmitters regulate the function in the brain and body. Neurotransmitters transmit information within the brain and from the brain to all the parts of the body. The neurotransmitters transmit information through the function of the synapse that separates one neuron from another nerve cell or a muscle. A neuron is a nerve cell, the basic unit of the nervous system.

Dopamine is chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, that affects a personís behavior and emotions. The body needs to have a certain amount of dopamine in order to function properly.If you have too much or to little dopamine in your brain, it can affect your behavior and emotions. Too much dopamine is related to schizophrenia. Too little dopamine is related to Parkinson disease.

Schizophrenia is a mental and emotional disorder that makes a person out of touch with reality and interfaces with how a person behaves. Schizophrenia is characterized by a lot of symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations. Hallucinations are sensations, which make a schizophrenic hear voices, or smell things that do not exist. Delusions are false beliefs. If you suffer from delusions, you thoughts are different. People with delusions may have a conviction that every object is looking at them.

Parkinsonís disease is a disorder of the brain that affects muscle movement. Most commonly a person who gets this disease is elderly, over the age of 49. Parkinsonís disease is caused by the lack of dopamine in the brain. The nerve cells cannot transmit without dopamine, and this results the loss of muscle function and damages part of the brain. A person that suffers from Parkinsonís disease may have shaking hands.

The treatment for a person with Parkinsonís disease starts with the drugs deprenyl, amantadine and other anticholinergics. Levdopa is a medication that is one temporary solution. The drugs enter the brain and are transported into the cells. Higher doses of levodopa can decrease the number of cells, but may cause jerking movement of the limbs, trunk and head as well as hallucinations. The scientists are trying to improve on the levodopa treatment by creating drugs that minic dopamine called dopamine agonists. Low doses of the drugs create less severe side affects and word for a long time.

Neurotransmitters transmit the messages to the brain. Neurotransmitters regulate he function in the brain and body. Dopamine is a very important chemical messenger that affects the brain processes. Dopamine controls the movement and emotion. The treatment for dopamine imbalalaces may lead to satisfactory improvement for those people who have symptoms and may help them to recover from Parkinson disease and schizophrenia

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Doris Alarcon
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Research the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Explain how this neurotransmitter works and what its function is in the body and the brain. Be sure to concentrate on how dopamine affects behavior. What happens when something goes wrong in the system; for example, when there is too much or too little dopamine? What treatments are there?


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that transports signals between nerve endings in the brain. Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience pleasure, mood and pain. Moreover, when the brain has too much dopamine, this may cause schizophrenia. On the other hand, when there is not enough dopamine in the brain this may cause Parkinsonís disease to people. There is no cure for schizophrenia and Parkinsonís disease. However, there are treatments that can increase and decrease dopamine and help symptoms.

Our brain has 100 different neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers which transfer impulses from the axon of one neuron to the dendrite part at the receiving end of another nerve cell. Also neurotransmitters allow the nervous system to communicate with the bodyís muscles and interpret thought into action. There are about 100 billion neurons in our brain, and each has about 10,000 contacts with other neurons. Furthermore, neurons are cells that communicate with each other at places called synapses. A synapse is a structure where messages are sent from nerve to nerve. Any branch of one neuron transmits a nerve impulse to a branch of another neuron. The axon is a fiber in the brain that carries nerve impulses from the cell body to other neurons.

One important messenger is dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that transfers impulses in the brain. Dopamine affects our feelings, movements and behavior. When peopleís dopamine production is imbalanced it may cause Schizophrenia and Parkinsonís disease.Schizophrenics have a high level of dopamine and people with Parkinsonís disease do not have enough dopamine in their brains.

Dopamine plays an important role in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by unpredictable disturbances in†† thinking, emotion, perception, and behavior. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown. Nevertheless, one importantfactor that causes Schizophrenia is a biochemical factor. People with schizophrenia have a chemical imbalance in their†† brains. The brains of schizophrenics produce too much of the neurotransmitter dopamine. On the other hand, there are drugs, that decrease the level of dopamine andreduce the symptoms that arecalled antipsychotic drugs. Antipsychotic drugs areuseful forreducing hallucinations and delusions.

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain that reduces muscle control. The brains of Parkinsonís patients produce too little dopamine. Itís necessary for us to have a balanced brain. Therefore, the loss of dopamine production affects the balance of dopamine in the brain with the result that messages to the muscles become confused. As a result of this, the people with Parkinsonís disease may have symptoms of flexion, rigidity, and tremor. Flexion means that the head of the people with this disorder tend to be flexed on the chest, body bowed, arms, wrists, and knees are often bent. Rigidity means that there is a general absence of all motor activity in these people thataffects all of their muscles. A good example is that their facial muscles are immobile.Another symptom is tremor, which means that the hands of people with Parkinsonís disease tremble. Research has not yet found the cure for this disorder. However, there are treatments that can reduce symptoms and increase the level of dopamine. The drugs that reduce symptoms and increase the level of dopamine are called Dopamine agonist drugs. L-Dopa is a dopamine agonist.

Dopamine is a chemical messenger that transports messages between the nerve endings in the brain. Dopamine is very important in our brain and body because it affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. In addition, it is very important that dopamine in our brain is in balance because an imbalance ofdopaminemay cause some disorders like schizophrenia and Parkinsonís disease.

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Germain Duthene
Fall, 2001

Essay Topic: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and the treatment of schizophrenia.

Today in our society we have so many diseases that exist; some of them are common and some are not common. A few decades ago people did not know about schizophrenia. Today in our society we have a lot of people that suffer from schizophrenia and also many people who donít know what schizophrenia is. People may wonder what the symptoms are. Nowadays scientists are working in their labs to find out if there is any cure for schizophrenia and to discover what the causes are; they are also looking for treatments for schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia has existed for a long time but this illness has been misunderstood. Now people are more aware of it. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder meaning mental illness. It is a disease of the brain. Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling and emotionally devastating illnesses. About two million Americans suffer from the illness each year.

There are four types of schizophrenia. These are simple schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, disorganized schizophrenia and catatonic schizophrenia. Simple schizophrenia is an inability to put things together in a way that will solve a problem. For example when I was in high school, I had a friend whose mother suffered simple schizophrenia. Sometimes when I went to my friendís house, his mother told me that she spoke to her mother who had died three years ago, meaning that she believed in ghosts.Paranoid schizophrenia is when the person trusts no body and they may be violent due to a belief that their life is in danger. For example Adolf Hitler suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Thatís why he was so violent to the Jews. Disorganized schizophrenia involves illogical thinking. When a disorganized schizophrenic wants to say something, the words are all mixed up and make no sense. For example once I heard from someone with disorganized schizophrenia saying that they can make you black and white. Catatonic schizophrenia is characterized by unusual motor symptoms such as rigidity or wild excitement.

After all the research the scientists have done on schizophrenia, they found that schizophrenia is caused by too much dopamine in the brain. It cannot be cured. However it can be treated by a medication called a dopamine antagonist, which reduces the amount of dopamine that goes through the brain. They also found out that there are other factors that can cause schizophrenia such as environmental, genetic, and biochemical factors. As an environmental factor, scientists found that if an individual had a low income, she or he is more likely to have schizophrenia. However that doesnít mean everybody with low income is schizophrenic.Genetically means that you can get the disease from your parents. For example if you are a twin and your sibling has the disease, your possibility of getting it is fifty percent greater than the whole population. In addition the biochemistry of the schizophrenic is noticeably different than that of the non-schizophrenic. There appear to be structural anomalies in the brains of schizophrenics, which means that the brain of a schizophrenic appears physically different when compared with the brain of a non-schizophrenic.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness. Itís a very serious disease and now very common. It affects about one percent of the population. There are a lot of things that contribute to schizophrenia. It is also not yet curable; however, it can be treated with dopamine antagonist drugs. Hopefully later on there will be a cure for this mental illness.

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Pascale-Andree Felix
ESL 91
Fall, 2001

ESSAY TOPIC: Describe the mental disorder schizophrenia. Discuss the causes, symptoms, and the treatment of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia? Many of you people wonder "What is schizophrenia?"What are its symptoms?How can someone have it?How can it be cured?Well if you want to know the answers to these questions, today is a good opportunity for you to learn more about it.This essay will describe Schizophrenia, explain its symptoms and how can it be treated, and also give you examples of it.

Schizophrenia is a disease that makes people Ďs mind upside down; it is known as an emotionally devastating illness. More than two million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year.

There are four really major subtypes of Schizophrenia. Simple schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations and delusions.The individual is withdrawn from others. Paranoid schizophrenia is when the individual may not trust anyone or may be anxious or angry.In hebephrenic Schizophrenia people lose touch with reality and their speech and their words are meaningless. And Catatonic Schizophrenia is characterized by strange motor symptoms, such as severity or wild excitement. On occasion the Catatonic Schizophrenia alternates between these two extremes.

Schizophrenia can affect men and women. It usually appears in men in the late teens or early twenties. Women are generally affected in the twenties and thirties. Schizophreniais found over the entire world. Schizophrenia can affect any one. Children can have Schizophrenia too, but not younger then the age of five years.

At first Schizophrenics usually appear confused, and their behavior changes. A person who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia imagines someone or something after them. They suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others or they believe that other people can read their minds, control their thoughts or plot to harm them. Those symptoms can lead them to be afraid and to withdraw. The way they speak and behave can be so disorganized that they are frightening to other people. The first sign of Schizophrenia usually appears as confusion and behavior changes.

Hallucinations, delusions and illusions are the most common symptoms that Schizophrenic people. Delusions are false beliefs. Are people with schizophrenia likely to be violent? We might say people arenít well in their minds; they may do anything.But this is wrong. People with schizophrenia would not commit crimes unless they were mentally ill before.

What causes Schizophrenia? There is not one thing that causes Schizophrenia. Scientists donít understand yet all the causes of Schizophrenia but many diseases like heart disease result from an interplay of genetic, behavioral, and other factors. That may be the case for Schizophrenia as well People who have a parent with Schizophrenia can more easily develop this disease than other people who do not have a parent with it. Some studies say that there are some people with Schizophrenia who may recover completely. Others improve to the point where they can live independently, often with the maintenance of drug therapy.

Scientists suggest that hospitalization is often necessary in cases of Schizophrenia. This procedure ensures the safety of the person who is affected. During the hospitalization, the schizophrenic can be observed by trained mental health professionals and appropriately diagnosed. Medications can reduce the psychotic symptoms of Schizophrenia. Psychotic drugs are the best treatment now available but they donít cure the disease and there may be further psychotic episodes. The person may also need assistance in readjusting to society when his\her symptoms are controlled.

What can\should you do if a loved one is sick? You should not humiliate a person suffering from Schizophrenia. The best way to treat a friend or a relative with Schizophrenia is with compassion, understanding and support. They should not be made to feel that it is their fault. They need your help, your support and the support of the family.

Even if they resist treatment or medications, schizophrenic patients believe that delusions or hallucinations are real. Sometimes only you or friends close to the person can see the behavior or the ideas. You should ask to speak with the doctor evaluating the patient so that you get can and provide all the information about him.

To conclude, Schizophrenia is a disease that anyone can have. We should not treat people badly because unfortunately anyone can have it without any exceptions.

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