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This shocked me - Interplay of Genetics and Environment can cause Schizophrenia


LongHaul
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For some reason i had always assumed that certain things were set in the genes like Schizophrenia.

Totally wrong.  There is a complex interplay between genes (predisposition) and environment.

 

One very likely risk factor is drug use from ~15-30.  Pot, cocaine, etc.  One stat shows 5x the incidence of

becoming Schizo with pot use when young.  The jury is still out apparently.  Given that Schizo is so serious of a mental disorder, I would personally advise anyone under 30 to totally avoid pot and other heavy drugs.  The downside is just to great.  Although I may never know 100%, my uncle got into heavy drug use in the 60's (pot, lsd) and developed Schizophrenia.  Totally messed up his life and words cannot describe it fully.

 

Interesting site - see the odds ratio for what may cause higher odds of Schizo that is non family related.

http://schizophrenia.com/prev1.htm

 

This study showed an 86% reduction in Schizo for healthy families vs dysfunctional ones.

http://www.schizophrenia.com/familyenv1.htm

 

The above family data was really surprising and I wonder what else that this complex interplay. 

 

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These odds-ratio and relative risk studies are helpful but need to be validated and tentative conclusions have to be handled with care.

 

The studies tend to show correlation but there is a big conceptual step to cause-and-effect.

 

For schizophrenia and for other similar ailments, in the absence of a spurious statistical aberration, one has to try to differentiate between a risk indicator (pure association) and a true risk modifier (epigenetics stuff that Hielko refers to).

 

The classic example here is the association of mental disease (including schizophrenia) and very high cigarette smoking prevalence. A lot of work has been done to show how an exposure to nicotine or else could trigger the disease. There is however an important body of work showing that there is simply an association through behavior. Also, there is a school of thought suggesting that people suffering from schizophrenia actually benefit from smoking (improved cognition, similar to looked-for effects with medications) and smoking may then actually consist in a mitigating behavior.

 

It's a classic nature versus nurture problem but genes play a very significant role.

I guess it's similar to value investing: it can be learned but it's easier if it is in your genes.

 

 

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