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Schizophrenia: The Role of Environmental Factors
Schizophrenia is a common disorder that is often diagnosed based on certain symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive deficits, although care must be taken to ensure that this disorder is not confused with different conditions that can cause some of the same symptoms (e.g., bipolar disorder). Several studies have shown that motor delays and cognitive impairments are more prominent among patients with schizophrenia than those with bipolar disorder (Reichenberg et al., 2002; Zammit et al., 2004), and this appears to help practitioners make more accurate diagnoses. Research regarding schizophrenia has also consistently shown that the prefrontal and temporal regions of the brain are altered in patients suffering from this disorder (Pearlson, 2000; Windemuth et al., 2008).
In addition to the role that genetic abnormalities and cognitive deficits play in the onset of schizophrenia, environmental factors may also contribute to the development of this disorder. What are some of these environmental factors?