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Peer Edit of Alyssa's Report

Created By: Maddy Kim
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Just over one percent of the population suffers suffer from a very serious neurological disorder known as "Paranoid Schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is a syndrome caused by a combination of genetically obtained traits, environmental factors, and a disorganized breakdown of thought processes. People diagnosed with Schizophrenia usually experience auditory as well as visual hallucinations, and often have trouble distinguishing what's real and imaginary. 

Findings 1 (History and Understanding)
Schizophrenia has always been hard for people to understand. Even though the first official record of "Schizophrenia" by name was written less than 100 years ago, a description that matched the disorder was made in 1887, classified as a "discrete mental illness", and the same symptoms were described as far back as ancient Egypt, in the "Book of Hearts". *Clarify what the "Book of Hearts" is.  In Egyptian times, people with Schizophrenia were thought to be possessed by demons, and were locked away or committed to deadly procedures, such as drilling holes in patients heads to release the "evil spirits".[Anonymous 2010 1] Thankfully, we possess a much clearer understanding of this disorder, and treat it much differently. Today, scientists have discovered that Schizophrenia is linked to a variety of rare genetic mutations, and can be inherited from a  first or second-degree relative. Those with a parent or sibling that have Schizophrenia, have a ten percent chance of acquiring this disorder, while those with an identical twin have a forty-five to sixty percent chance of acquiring it.[Anonymous 2009 2] Though there have been links to obtaining this syndrome genetically, it is not caused by the genes themselves, "In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development."[Anonymous 2009 1] In addition to genetic causes, environmental factors are also thought to play a role in developing this disorder. "Exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth, problems during birth, and other not yet known psychosocial factors" [Anonymous 2009 3] may be included in the list of causes. Studies have also indicated that patients with Schizophrenia have slight differences in brain function and structure, such as larger fluid-filled cavities in the center of the brain, and significantly less "grey matter" (parts of the brain that are dormant or in-active) [Anonymous 2010 A 1] After death, scientists also found that the actual  brain tissue was slightly different from those without Schizophrenia, they suggested that these differences in cell tissue most likely occurred before birth. [Anonymous 20094] Theories presented have suggested that in the womb, things may go wrong during brain development, which would account for the brain differences. *If you can, list and describe the "things" that may go wrong during brain development.  It was also presented that the reason why the disorder might not hit until teens into the patient's thirties *Doesn't make sense. , is that the neurological and body stresses from puberty may trigger the defective genes into action.[Harrison 2008 1 2] Another theory suggests that Schizophrenia is caused by an interaction of infectious disease, such as viruses. Not only can viruses can attack parts of the brain and leave others intact, but they can also alter processes in the brain without killing it, and they can even lay dormant for many years, which would explain why the disorder doesn't usually go into action until late teens.[Harrison, 2008 A 1] Interestingly enough, this theory also states that patients who grow up  with cats around are slightly more prone to this disorder.  *Explain why people who grow up with cats are slightly more prone to Schizophrenia. [Harrison, 2008 A2] Many sufficient explanations have surfaced on the disorder, and advances are being made even today. 
*You may want to split this paragraph into two.  One can be on the history and the other can be on the understanding.  There seems to be too much information in one paragraph.

Findings 2 (Effects and Symptoms)
When people are effected with Schizophrenia, they experience a wide variety of symptoms and side effects. Some of these symptoms include auditory and visual hallucinations, delusions, loss of appetite and hygiene, depersonalization, depression, and social withdrawal.[Dryden-Edwards 2009 1] Hallucinations and delusions are of the most common symptoms. Hallucinations are when the patient will see or hear things that appear to be real perceptions to them, and hallucinations are beliefs based on insane or incomplete thoughts. Patients effected with hallucinations will often hear voices that are not actually there, and respond to them. Other times they see things that are not there, such as distorted figures or people. Delusions are a bit trickier; patients effected truly believe things that make no sense based on false or made-up information. They may feel like someone is trying to kill them, or follow them, in some cases they even believe people are trying to read their thoughts. Many Schizophrenics will experience disorganized thoughts or speech patterns, "and may become uninterested in daily activities, such as bathing, grooming, or dressing".[Anonymous 2012 1] In rarer cases, Schizophrenics may become violent and act out in a malicious manner. Patients will also often feel disconnected from their families and friends, and have a harder times experiencing joy or pleasure. *Make into two separate sentences, it was turning into a run-on sentence.  They go into a gloomy state of withdrawal and keep to themselves.[Anonymous 2012 2] They also tend to eat less healthy and have more issues with drugs and smoking, which can also be triggers for Schizophrenic episodes. *Explain what Schizophrenic episodes are.  When the patient experiences social withdrawal, their relationships with their family members becomes drastically affected, and they often become suspicious and hostile towards their loved ones.[Anonymous 2008 A 1] Suicide attempts are much more common in Schizophrenic patients, and they are more likely to take their lives.[Anonymous 2008 A 2] "Schizophrenics will tend to turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms and self-medicate. This condition is known as dual diagnosis. Heavy smokers with schizophrenia who turn to smoking for the same purpose will in fact will reducing reduce the ability of their medication to work, as cigarette smoke is known to reduce the effectiveness of such medication"  -[Anonymous 2008 A 3]

Findings 3 (Cures and Current Research)
Today, there is no known cure for Schizophrenia, but very effective treatments, therapies and medication is are available, and new advancements in early-detection and prevention is showing promising results.[Cannon 2013 1] Currently patients are being treated with antipsychotic drugs, which block a certain kind of dopamine receptor. *Explain what a dopamine receptor is.  Blocking this receptor lessens the severity of the patients hallucinations, about seventy percent of people treated with antipsychotics show some improvement while ten to fifteen percent show drastic improvement. However, the side effects include weight gain and motor tension, and around four fifths of patients stop responding to the drugs within the course of treatment.[Cannon 2013 2] Once patients stop taking the medication, they have a seventy percent chance of total psychotic relapse within the next few years, and antipsychotics do not treat functional disabilities and therefore do not help their social of or occupational skills, making social withdrawal a side effect of Schizophrenia that cannot be restored. Although a complete cure does not exist, recovery is possible. Around twenty-five percent of patients recover within the first 10 years and live fairly normal lives or live independently.[Tracy 2012 1] "By utilizing multiple therapies and medication, recovery from schizophrenia is possible."[Tracy 2012 2] Another advancement in treatment options was obtained when scientists started investigating the a neurotransmitter called the glutamate receptor. *Explain what a glutamate recepetor is.  They believe that by changing this receptor, chemical reactions in the brain can be carried out normally.[Chandna 2007 1]. New information was surfaced when they discovered that the current treatment being used (blocking dopamine receptors), caused a number of side effects and was even linked to early onset Parkinson's disease.  *Explain what Parkinson's disease is.  [Chandna 2007 2] The research on the glutamate receptors provides hope for a future early onset cure for Schizophrenia. Another study suggested that taking a fish oil supplement before any symptoms of Schizophrenia may help prevent psychosis. "Researchers tested the efficacy efficiency of taking long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention of psychotic disorders. The results show that taking Omega-3 not only reduces the risk psychotic disorders developing further but may also provide a viable strategy of prevention in young children with a predisposition for psychotic states."- [Anonymous 2013 B 1] It was found that Omega-3 fatty acids reduced the number of young adults who developed the disorder when distributed at random to an experimental and control group. [Anonymous 2013 B 2] Some say that medication is not the only way a mental illness should be treated, and fish oil is a better, more natural alternative. Natural or un-natural unnatural supplements are not the only way to recovery; support from family and friends, and an un-hostile environment is also necessary.

Findings 4 (Links to other disorders)
While Schizophrenia is a unique disorder itself, it's now being proven to be linked to a number of other things. The first links found genetically were between a number of other psychiatric disorders, specifically bipolar disorder.  *Describe bipolar disorder.  [Cookson 2009 1] It was also discovered that the genes most closely related to those of Schizophrenia, were the genes linked to the immune system, which would support the connection between viral infection and Schizophrenia, there have even been studies of people being more prone to getting this disorder if their mother had a viral illness while pregnant. [Cookson 2009 2] "One hypothesis says schizophrenia can be seen as a type of auto-immune disease, which develops in people who are genetically susceptible and whose immune system is triggered by infection or other environmental factors."-[Cookson 2009 3] Another link to Schizophrenia is not genetic, but physical. It was found that Schizophrenia was linked to violence. Until the early 1980's, it was believed that Schizophrenics were no more likely to be violent than the general population, but it is now accepted that people with this syndrome are significantly more likely to be violent. [Walsh, 2012 1 2] Drug use (cocaine, nicotine, amphetamines, PCP) was found to be an affecting component of Schizophrenia as well, it was proven to reduce the effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs, as well as worsen their symptoms. It was also found that patients taking drugs are less likely to follow their doctor's treatment plans. [Anonymous 2006 1] While the normal rate of the U.S. smoking population is around twenty-five to thirty percent, the number of Schizophrenic nicotine-dependent people is three times as high, and withdrawal from the drug can temporarily worsen their symptoms. [Anonymous 2006 2 4] Food can also effect Schizophrenia, patients commonly have low levels of omega-3 and B vitamins, certain foods that are rich in these nutrients have been known to help lessen the symptoms of Schizophrenia and nourish the brain.[Anonymous 2013 B] Foods that are suggested to be avoided are fatty or oily foods, lactose, and gluten, because antipsychotics cause the patients to gain weight and obesity should be avoided. It was also proven that ingesting lactose and gluten worsens the symptoms of Schizophrenia and also should be avoided. The diet a Schizophrenic person eats does not really affect them that drastically, but gluten is the most recommended to stay away from. Schizophrenia was found to be linked to more than just mental disorders, it was also found to be related to diabetes. Patients with Schizophrenia actually were found to be more prone to Type 2 diabetes, and have a higher risk of abnormal glucose metabolism.  *Explain what Type-2 Diabetes is.  [Anonymous 2009 C 1]
*You may want to split this paragraph into two.  One can be on the links to other disorders, and the other can be on what to avoid to prevent Schizophrenia.

Conclusion
Therefore Although, Schizophrenia is a disorder without a cure, but it has there is hope. Recovery is possible, we know how it works, and why it causes the things it does, and new advancements are being made constantly. With early detection, medication, and proper environment, we can beat Schizophrenia, and give the mentally ill a reason to recover.

*Wow, your essay was very well-written!  Besides a few clarification and explanations, it was a very good essay!  Good job Alyssa (:
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