Friday, February 3, 2023

Tag: biological explanations of schizophrenia

APA: Drop the Stigmatizing Term “Schizophrenia”

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I believe that the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization should follow the lead of several countries that have already retired the term "schizophrenia" from their vocabularies. The time is now to drop this stigmatizing, hope-disabling, scientifically controversial term.

Schizophrenia Twin Research as Reported in The Gene: An Intimate History...

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In his 2016 book The Gene: An Intimate History, cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled the initial idea of the gene, taking readers through the history of genetics up to the current “post-genome” period by interweaving science, social history, and his own personal narrative. In the process he documented some of the crimes of the eugenics movement and the monstrous atrocities committed by German National Socialism in the name of eugenics and biology, while noting the Nazi’s promotion of twin research. He also criticized aspects of intelligence testing and genetic theories of racial inferiority based on IQ tests. At the same time, Mukherjee supported and promoted many contemporary behavioral genetics positions.

“Schizophrenia Breakthrough” – Or a Case of Ignoring the Most Important...

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Last week, the headlines blared: "Schizophrenia breakthrough as genetic study reveals link to brain changes!"  We heard that our best hope for treating “schizophrenia” is to understand it at a genetic level, and that this new breakthrough would get us really started on that mission, as it showed how a genetic variation could lead to the more intense pruning of brain connections, which is often seen in those diagnosed with schizophrenia.  “For the first time, the origin of schizophrenia is no longer a complete black box,” said one (while admitting that "it's still early days").  The acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) described the study as “a crucial turning point in the fight against mental illness.” But is all this hype justified?

And Now for Something Completely the Same:  The Latest, Greatest Breakthrough...

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Another scientific study that ostensibly identifies a biological cause of schizophrenia has appeared and is being widely reported. So, we finally have the elusive breakthrough to understanding the biological basis of schizophrenia. Or do we? A close look at the source of all this hyperbolic language raises serious questions about such enthusiasm.

Schizophrenia and Genetics: A Closer Look at the Evidence

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“The substantial hereditary component in schizophrenia,” a pair of researchers wrote in 1993, “is surely one of the two or three best-established facts in psychiatry.” But is it really? For mainstream psychiatry and psychiatric genetics, schizophrenia is “a severe mental disorder with a lifetime risk of about 1%, characterized by hallucinations, delusions and cognitive deficits, with heritability estimated at up to 80%,” or a “highly heritable neuropsychiatric disorder of complex genetic etiology.” Many commentators have challenged these claims, and some have challenged the concept of schizophrenia itself.

“Research Shows Sexual Abuse May Cause Schizophrenia”

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“Groundbreaking research in New Zealand shows sexual abuse may cause schizophrenia.” "The biggest myth about schizophrenia is that it's a solely biological disorder," co-author...