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Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately 1

percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime. Although

schizophrenia affects men and women equally, the disorder often appears

earlier in men.

There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. Many diseases, such as heart

disease, result from a mix of genetic, behavioral, and other factors, and this may

be the case for schizophrenia as well. Schizophrenia runs in families, and if you are

directly related to a person with this disease, you are at a high risk of contracting it.

Anti-psychotic medicine has been available for a long while, since the 1950s. They

have greatly improved the outlook for individual patients. These medications reduce the

psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and usually allow the patient to function more like

a regular person. People with schizophrenia often suffer symptoms such as hearing

internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their

minds, controlling their thoughts, or going to harm them.

These symptoms may leave

them fearful and lead them to be self-removed from society. Their speech and behavior

can be so disorganized that they may be unbelievable or frightening to others.

Scientists are using many approaches to learn about schizophrenia. Methods of

imaging the brain and it's function help to find a cure for this very frightening disease.