There are numerous neurotransmitters in the brain which are responsible for transmission of impulses from one neuron to another. Neurons in different areas of brain have specific neurotransmitters. Therefore, lack of different neurotransmitters affects different areas of brain and leads to distinct abnormalities. Dopaminergic hyperactivity leads to schizophrenia whereas decreased levels of GABA have been associated with anxiety disorders. Decreased activity of both serotonin and norepinephrine plays a causative role in depression. Neuronal activity is also controlled by hormonal levels in the body. For e.g. high cortisol levels can cause anxiety, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.
Many familial and twin studies have shown that individuals have a genetic predisposition for mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, etc. These mental disorders usually run in families but specific genes for these disorders have not yet been identified.
It has also been postulated that viral infections can cause abnormalities in brain structure and function which leads to abnormal behavior and functioning. It has been found that many mothers of schizophrenic children had a history of viral infection during their pregnancy. Viral agents responsible for causing anxiety and mood disorders have not been found but the research is ongoing.
Based on the biological model, different treatment modalities have been used for abnormal behavior and functioning. These include pharmacotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychosurgery (Comer, 2005). The drugs used for treatment usually maintain the balance of neurotransmitters.
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