Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

What is it?

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder which sees an individual unable to distinguish their thoughts from their reality. Although there is no notable cause for this disorder, scientists have come to a conclusion it is influenced and stimulated by genetic and environmental factors.

How is it caused?

Genetics play a role, whereby if a relative has the a fault in chromosome 6, the chance of their kin developing a similar trait increases as well. According to further research, genes makes up for 80% of the cause. Environmental factors such as drug abuse can also play a role in increasing the risk of developing schizophrenia, since drugs alter the balance of serotonin and dopamine levels, which also influences schizophrenia developing.

Breakthroughs in research

The C4 gene within chromosome 6 was researched to a great extent within early 2016. Using humans and mice as experiment, it had appeared that scientists had found out that one of the possible causes was because of the C4 gene, via synaptic pruning, was involved in destroying connections between neurons. Synaptic pruning is a process that eliminates these connections to enable more quicker and efficient electrical and chemical signalling. More promising information provided showed that symptoms of Schizophrenia occurred during adolescence, the same time where synaptic pruning is at its peak.

Treatment

The state of schizophrenia is usually improved by a combination of both therapy and medicine. Therapy can include community mental health teams provided by the NHS. Another service the NHS provides is CPA, which is the care programme approach, whereby you are assessed to enable a care plan to be provided, further appointed a key worker, this could be a social worker for example, and then the treatment is reviewed. Arts therapy is an example of expressing emotion, non-verbally, this s shown to improve the negative symptoms, such as shaking and trembling.

Aman Kumar

Sources:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/schizophrenia/treatment/

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental…/schizophrenia

https://www.yourhealthinmind.org/mental-illnesses-disorders/schizophrenia

https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/406

Mental Media

Mental Health & Media

Grief, Exams, Relationships, Image, Status, a few of the things that trigger stress and your mental health to go, well, “funny”, ironically there is no humorous side to it, in fact mental health affects 1 in 4 people, taking into consideration in a given household with an average family of 4 people, at least 1 of them will suffer from anxiety, stress or depression.

In an ever growing society to live up to high expectations, encouraged by the use of social media, it is clear to see why people are so critical of themselves, on a physical, mental and psychological level. With the growing popularity of dieting and slimming down, people are given the ideal of six pack abs and nothing less. This influences eating disorders which have been on the rise, as well as starvation caused on purpose. Similar to what happens to us where our mental health is on the brink, for example in education, deadline after deadline, exam after exam we are pushed to the limit, until we finally collapse, where it happens all over again. We are accustomed now to labeling ourselves, where we wage war, physical against mental, forgetting the fact that there is no real winner, only two losers.

Self Harm is also on the rise, especially in young people, this again is reflective of the amount of stress they are put under today, seen in the shake up of the new GCSE’s for example as well as the new style A-Level courses, becoming more difficult. Young people today turn to harming themselves or finding a negative to relieve themselves including the rise in young people using drugs, as well as crime. Adults are also affected by the workload at jobs, or going to jobs that they hate going to, but knowing it is their only way to put food on the table. Some not able to go any longer and resort to extreme measures.

Linking back to the above, more people are unintentionally isolating themselves, becoming hooked on social media, watching people enjoy themselves and have fun, with pictures of large groups of friends, or so it seems, and yet we believe it, and we wouldn’t be telling the truth if we said we didn’t want something like that. We slowly are taken in by the bingeing of insights into other peoples lives, and join the cycle that kills our social side, leaving us alone, afraid and ultimately isolated.

In conclusion we are led to believe that in lives across Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook, everything is perfect, their life is stress free, but it truly isn’t the case. They say a picture can paint a thousand words, but it can also hide a million.

Aman Kumar

Mind Games

Mind Games

 It’s a weird phenomenon that everything we do is controlled by this one wrinkly ball of matter, how it is the control centre, connecting every neuron together, forming its very own network, capable of solving complex problems within seconds, pushing the boundaries constantly trying to remember larger and larger quantities of information, coordinating every leap, jump, sprint, skip and pen flick but for some reason decides to leave you when you open the first page of an exam or try to speak to someone attractive. This form of temporary cloudiness is caused by a reduction in cognitive functioning.

 “Brain Fog” is a term commonly associated with the cloudiness of ones thoughts, again caused by temporary reduction in cognitive functioning. This can be due to stress, where the hormone cortisol accumulates, causing a disruption of the synapse regulation, resulting in an anti-social hold that makes an individual feel depressed . Stress can destroys brain cells, reducing the overall size of the brain. Severe cases of stress have a shrinking effect on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning; lack of sleep, this is a common trait of most people, taking into consideration demanding jobs that have long hours of work, this effects the brain, particularly the hippocampus which is responsible for memory, lack of sleep also impairs normal neuron function as well as the temporal lobe responsible for visible perception, thus making us less alert of our surroundings.

Having recently been to a Neuroscience lecture, I discovered that there was more to than meets the eye when it comes to “You look a bit tired”, where, in fact, we should be more concerned rather with what is going on internally, and how some factors can affect the brain in multiple ways, we were shown how different areas of the brain are affected, some of which are highlighted above, all of which will be useful in not just in a medical environment but overall understanding how “sloppy” behavior comes around.

Aman Kumar

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/60875-sleep-deprivation-sluggish-brain-cells.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/brain-fog

https://www.webmd.com/brain/ss/slideshow-brain-fog

Images from Primary source.

Welcome to my Medicine blog!

Here I will document any information I learn along the way in my venture to become a medical doctor, through work experience, volunteering and research, and will present it in the form of articles, blogs, and all round information. Well that’s the plan anyway.