Mar 19, 2014

The neurobiology of social environmental risk for schizophrenia: an evolving research field

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Ceren AkdenizAndreas Meyer-Lindenberg


Schizophrenia is a severe and complex brain disorder that usually manifests in early adulthood and disturbs a wide range of human functions. More than 100 years after its initial description, the pathophysiology of the disorder is still incompletely understood. Many epidemiological studies strongly suggest a complex interaction between genetic and environmental risk factors for the development of the disorder. While there is considerable evidence for a social environmental component of this risk, the links between adverse social factors and altered brain function have just come into focus. In the present review, we first summarize epidemiological evidence for the significance of social environmental risk factors, outline the role of altered social stress processing in mental illness, and review the latest experimental evidence for the neural correlates of social environmental risk for schizophrenia. The studies we have discussed in this review provide a selection of the current work in the field. We suggest that many of the social environmental risk factors may impact on perceived social stress and engage neural circuits in the brain whose functional and structural architecture undergoes detrimental change in response to prolon...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Brain Diseases
Chronic Disease
Mental Suffering
Brain Function
Molecular Neurobiology

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