Schizophrenia is not due to a single cause. As with other common chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart diseases, it is believed that schizophrenia develops as a result of a number of concomitant factors.
Genetic and environmental factors, or a perinatal brain damage can significantly contribute to the development of the disease.1, 13
Each of these factors can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in certain people; these symptoms can be triggered by various life situations or events such as social isolation or stress, in particular in young adulthood.
The use of street drugs (such as cannabis) can also be associated with the development of schizophrenia and transitory psychotic symptoms.1
Mental illness specialists agree that the symptoms of schizophrenia stem from problems in information transmission and processing in the brain [APA Clinical Guidelines, 2004].1
These problems develop when the communication resulting from normal release of chemicals between the neurons in the brain is disturbed.9
Though the development of schizophrenia cannot be prevented, the occurrence frequency of schizophrenia symptoms (known as a “psychotic episode”) can be controlled and even reduced with proper treatment.1
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