Discuss/Outline and Evaluate One Biological Explanation of Schizophrenia (4+8)
- Dopamine hypothesis is one explanation.
- Dopamine is a neurotransmitter.
- Neurotransmitters allow separate neurons to communicate.
- By diffucing down the synapse.
- Schizophrenics have abnormal brain activity.
- An abnormal level of dopamine could be the cause of schizophrenia symptoms.
- An excess can cause over excitement of cells due to over stimulation.
- This results in the abnormal brain activity in the pre-frontal cortex and can account for the hallucinations and delusions.
- - This as well as other biological explanations have been criticised for being reductionist. This means that they explain schizophrenia in a simplistic way, for example in the Dopamine hypothesis, schizophrenia is explained as abnormal dopamine levels being the only cause therefore other factors may be ignored. However reducing an explanation to one component being the only cause means that experiments can be used to verify this explanation and as only one factor is targeted, therapies can be made to target the one factor.
- - There is also empirical evidence to support this explanation. Psychologists have found that hallucinogenic drugs have an affect on levels of neurotransmitters, therefore the dopamine hypothesis is valid in some respects as it is able to explain hallucinations with scientific evidence to support this.
- - This theory has also lead to effective treatments. Anti psychotic drugs which have the effect of controlling levels of dopamine have been found to be effective and are still used today. Therefore we are able to conclude that this is a valid explanation as it has treatments based on it which is still used today.