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.