Etiology of mental disorders

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Last update: Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 12.13 pm.

Etiology of mental disorders: In general[edit | edit source]

  • Generally mental disorders are multifactorial in etiology, much remains to be discovered about them
  • Predisposing factors x precipitating factors x maintaining factors

Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Schizophrenia: Genetic factors (concordance rate of 400-500% in monozygotic twins), environmental factors (frequent use of cannabis during early teens, stress and psychosocial factors)
    • dysregulation of neurotransmitters (dopamine increase and decrease (mesolimbic, prefrontal pathways), serotonergic activity, glutamergic neurotransmission, ), structural and functional changes (synaptogenesis (decreased dendritic branching), enlarged ventricles, decreased volume of hippocampi and amygdala)
  • Anxiety disorders: gender, neurobiological factors (serotonin system disruption, environmental factors (smoking, stress, trauma), secondary anxiety due to other medical conditions or drugs
  • Bipolar disorder: strong genetic component, paternal age (mutations during spermatogenesis), "triggers" (psychosocial stress, sleep disturbances, traumatic experiences), calcium and mitochondrial dysfunction (?)
  • PTSD: primarily related to triggers (sexual abuse, physical abuse, accidents, war...) + risk factors (age, social support, mental comorbidities, prior comorbidities)