A.N. Erichev(1), I.I. Bode(2), V.O. Polyakova(2, 3), A.P. Kotsyubinsky(1) 1-V.M. Bekhterev National Medical Research Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, Bekhterev str., 3, Saint Petersburg, 192019, Russian Federation; 2-Saint Petersburg State University, Universitetskaya nab., 7/9, Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation; 3-Saint Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, Dynamo pr., 3, Saint Petersburg, 197110, Russian Federation E-mail: [email protected]

Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder with etiology not clearly determined yet. Scientists associate its development with various factors including excessive expression of some genes and unstable social environment. The World Health Organization estimates the prevalence of schizophrenic spectrum disorders as 21 million people worldwide. Moreover, some researchers note that such symptoms as paranoid thinking and hallucinations in a mild form can occur in 5–8% of the healthy population. This fact complicates the process of making the diagnosis. Laboratory tests or imaging methods that could accurately determine the presence of the disorder are yet to be developed as of today. In addition, the disorder can manifest in different ways which makes it difficult to assess the diagnosis reliability and prognosis. The dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia was very popular previously, however, now it is gradually receding into the past giving the way to new, more progressive biopsychosocial and diathesis-stress hypotheses. In this article, the main factors that influence the schizophrenia development are considered. A better understanding of the disease pathogenesis may allow developing better diagnosis methods and more effective therapeutic approaches.
schizophrenia, dopamine, dopamine hypothesis, diathesis-stress model, biopsychosocial model

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