The causes of schizophrenia have been the subject of much debate. The exact cause of schizophrenia is not known yet. It is said to be result of various genetic, physical, psychological and environmental risk factors. Some of the factors put forward as cause are:
Schizophrenia tends to run in families although no one gene is found to be responsible. People who have relatives with the disease develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. Studies of identical twins reveal that if one twin develops schizophrenia, the other twin has a 50% chance of developing the condition.
Recent studies suggest that schizophrenia may result when a certain gene that is key to making important brain chemicals malfunctions. This may affect the part of the brain involved in higher functioning skills.
Pregnancy and birth complications
It has been proposed that people who develop schizophrenia are more likely to have experienced complications before and during their birth, such as a low birth weight, premature labor or asphyxia during birth.
The main triggers of schizophrenia are stressful life events, such as bereavement, loss of job or home, divorce or end of a relationship, psychological trauma like sexual or emotional abuse.
Abuse of drugs has been linked to schizophrenia. Common drugs that can trigger are cannabis, cocaine, LSD and amphetamines.