Schizophrenia is a mental disorder, with the main symptoms involvinge delusion (distortions in thought context),hallucination (distortions in perception), inferential thinking (disorganized thought) and negative symptoms (restrictions in range and intensity of emotional expression, in fluency and productivity of thought and speech,and in initiation of goal-directed behaviour).
[DSM-IV] Morbidity rate is 1-1.5%, and most patients develop this disorder between their late teens and early twenties.
These symptoms are so severe that not only patients themselves but also economies of society suffer.
Regarding the cause of schizophrenia,abnormality in brain has for a long time been considered to cause these symptoms.
Yet, this has not been confirmed.
Recent research findings suggest that an imbalance of dopamine (a neurotransmitter) and its receptor cause the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Now, abnormalites in dopamine and its receptors are drawing people's attention.There are some reasons for this 'dopamine hypothesis'. First, the most widely used drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia block dopamine D2 receptors and signal transmissions by dopamine.
These drugs function as antipsychotic medications and reduce delusion and hallucination.