The Genetic Role of Schizophrenia

Alyson Wilson, Johnson & Wales University - Providence


Risk factors that are found to contribute to the development of

schizophrenia include: genetics, environment, and brain structure and function. In genetics, it is found that schizophrenia sometimes runs in families, but that doesn’t mean that because one person in the family has schizophrenia, that everyone else in the family will get it. Many different genes, including GRIN2A, DRD2, and DISC1 and many more, can increase a person’s risk for developing schizophrenia. Environmental factors also have an impact on the development of schizophrenia. These factors can include but are not limited to stressful and dangerous surroundings, neglect, abuse, poverty, and possible exposure to viruses/nutrition issues prior to birth7,8. There is little information on brain structure and function, but it has been found that differences in sizes of certain parts of the brain have been found to be linked with the development of schizophrenia.7