The Etiology

Although science has made significant strides in the understanding of schizophrenia, in many ways its causes remain as mysterious today as they were when Eugen Bleuler coined the term in 1905. As Melinda Wenner describes in this section, the dopamine hypothesis that gave rise to a generation of antipsychotics has been forced to share the stage with a host of other neurotransmitters, from glutamate to acetylcholine.

The genetics of the disease are being worked out in tandem with the functional neuroscience, and perhaps to the relief of both groups of researchers, many of the likely etiologies found by one branch of research are being confirmed by another. The genetic findings, along with potential environmental causes, are the subject of a piece by psychiatrist and geneticist Elliot Gershon.

Finally, imaging is helping to bring...

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