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Schizophrenia - Cause

Experts don't know what causes schizophrenia. It may have different causes for different people.

  • Genetics: Your chances of getting schizophrenia are greater if your parent, brother, or sister has it. But most people who have a family member with schizophrenia don't get it.
  • Brain chemistry and structure: It's possible that neurotransmitters, which send messages between parts of the brain, don't work the right way in people who have schizophrenia.
  • Problems duringpregnancy: Schizophrenia may be related to problems during the mother's pregnancy that can harm a baby's developing brain and nervous system. These problems include poor nutrition or a viral infection during pregnancy.

Schizophrenia is not caused by anything you did, by personal weakness or bad choices, or by the way your parents raised you.

Recommended Related to Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia and Relationships

Penny Frese, PhD, was studying fine arts at Ohio University when she met her future husband. They saw each other for several months, and she noticed he avoided talking about anything personal. "We took a walk in a park, and it was toward the end of summer -- a gorgeous, beautiful day. I confronted him about not being totally honest … and he said he had had a 'schizophrenic break.'" For some couples, that might have been the end. Frese went to the library and read up on schizophrenia. She learned...

Read the Schizophrenia and Relationships article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 31, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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