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Video transcript

schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain what it is absolutely not it has nothing to do with multiple personalities when we think about the brain we think about things that can cause schizophrenia and there are likely to be many different causes but we know that it's likely to be a combination of genetics and environmental causes that will be a play and when I say environmental that may include things like the experience in the in the womb and also growing up childhood experiences so it's really a combination of these two big factors that leads to abnormalities in the brain and these abnormalities in the brain can actually be picked up by some of the tests that we have today some of our brain imaging tests can show some abnormal changes in some individuals with schizophrenia we know that some of the neurotransmitters the brain chemicals are also abnormal in schizophrenia in particular there is a neurotransmitter called dopamine that is often thought to be too high or elevated in certain parts of the brain in schizophrenia and quite a number of the medicines are used to treat schizophrenia the antipsychotic medicines aim to work against dopamine unfortunately new brain scans measuring neurotransmitters none of these tests ever diagnosed schizophrenia schizophrenia is actually diagnosed based on a clinical interview and that means taking a history I'm hearing from the patient on their family exactly what's been happening over time and also observing the patient well why would we why would we observe the patient because we know that these brain changes may actually cause changes in how a patient behaves that behavior may be altered and we can further break this down into changes in the way they think and changes in the way they act and we about ways that people with schizophrenia may think differently we start to think about having abnormal beliefs something that we actually call delusions and they may also happen to see and hear things that aren't there something that we refer to as hallucinations now people can have delusions and hallucinations in other conditions but these are these are some of the symptoms of schizophrenia also the way that they act may be different they may isolate themselves socially they may be somewhat and disorganized or somewhat confused in their actions especially to people looking at them from a distance they may have something that we call a flat effect and that basically means they lack emotions on their face this isn't by no means an exhaustive list but we can start to see that the way that they think and the way that people with schizophrenia act there's a lot of changes here that people would start to feel maybe abnormal or different now let's think a little bit more widely Baskett Sabrina how common is this condition well we know that approximately 1% of people have schizophrenia the exact number is actually a little less than that in the u.s. it's actually 0.7% and we know that males are typically affected as much as females and we know that this is a condition that affects people between the age of 16 and 30 although it can happen in childhood and in older individuals this is the most common age group with males being affected at a younger age than females when we think about schizophrenia we should also think about the fact that there is something called the prodrome and the prodrome represents a period of time before schizophrenia the symptoms are fully present but it's actually a kind of deterioration in in a person's behavior and functioning things are starting to go downhill and in the prodrome typically what may happen is that people will start to demonstrate some of the signs of schizophrenia but what you will notice is that academic or schoolwork and I say schoolwork because if we think about between sixteen to thirty and if the program proceeds that they you talk about individuals that are often still in the educational system but if they're working there the work and suffer also their relationships may suffer they may exhibit some paranoia or suspiciousness towards other people some of their thoughts may be that people are working against them so they may develop some of these delusional ideas and they may start to act differently the prodrome then often leads to skip the schizophrenia and we know that if somebody has schizophrenia they are at risk of having lots of different consequences for example there are higher risk a higher risk of suicide a higher risk of being homeless and a higher risk of being in prison or in jail so these are some basics to think about when we start to hear the word schizophrenia schizophrenia is a brain disorder that's neurodevelopmental a combination of genetics and environment and we can know notice that there's differences in brain scans and neurotransmitters but is really diagnosed on clinical interview and it affects how people think and act it's preceded by this prodrome period where we notice a decrease in functioning and schizophrenia has a lot of repercussions it stops people engaging in society results in higher rates of suicide homelessness and incarceration