Childhood schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder which causes children to interpret reality abnormally. This type of mental condition is characterized by degeneration of thinking, motor, and emotional processes and has a profound impact on a child's behavior and development.
Schizophrenia does not have a defined cause. However, certain risk factors such as genes and environment or different brain chemistry and structure seem to have a correlation. Certain influences that contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia include: exposure to viruses, malnutrition before birth, problems during birth, psychosocial factors, and an imbalance in the chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate.
There is no known cure yet, but childhood schizophrenia is controllable with the help of behavioral therapies and medications. New research in the field has seen improvements in cognition using immunotherapy. In another study, researchers have successfully disrupted a genetic chain of events in a mouse model of schizophrenia and reversed memory deficits, one of the disorder's most difficult-to-treat symptoms. Science is moving towards improved treatments to help those with this debilitating disorder.
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