What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder
Schizophrenia is an illness that primarily impacts the brain, like epilepsy, Parkinson's, or Alzheimer's. Schizophrenia affects thoughts, perceptions and the capacity to reason. For those affected, that translates into impairments in their ability to process information, learn and remember.
Schizophrenia occurs twice as often as Alzheimer's disease.
Schizophrenia affects approximately 1 person in 100, or 1% of the population. To put that number in context, it is twice as many people as have Alzheimer's disease, and the same number of people as serve in the U.S. military today.
Schizophrenia is not gender or geography specific
Schizophrenia is found in every culture around the world. Also, it affects both men and women almost equally—although men who develop schizophrenia generally do so earlier in life and with more severe symptoms.
What causes schizophrenia?
Scientists haven't yet discovered what causes schizophrenia. Currently, the causes are thought to involve both genetic (inherited) and environmental (biological, acquired) factors.
Genetic, or Inherited, Factors: The risk of developing schizophrenia goes up when one has a close relative who also has the disorder, indicating a genetic component.
Environmental, or Biological, Factors: Environmental factors that have been associated with schizophrenia include viral infection or very poor nutrition during the fetal period.
Schizophrenia is not curable, but can be treated effectively
Even though schizophrenia is not curable, it can be managed with effective treatment. Today, a person with schizophrenia who receives appropriate treatment can lead a productive, rewarding life.