- Title Pages
- Foreword to the Second Edition
- Introductory Note
- A Note on the Title
- About the Authors
- Using This Book
- 1 In the Beginning
- 2 So Many Questions
- 3 How the Brain Works
- 4 What Is Schizophrenia?
- 5 Why Me?
- 6 Diagnosing Schizophrenia
- 7 What Will People Think of Me Now?
- 8 Medication
- 9 Out of the Hospital and Staying Well
- 10 Coping with Positive and Negative Symptoms
- 11 Coping with Other Symptoms and Side Effects
- 12 Drugs, Alcohol, and Safer Sex
- 13 Under the Microscope
- 14 Zelda’s Story
- 15 Who Am I Now?
- 16 Getting the Social Services You Need
- 17 Vocational Rehabilitation
- Appendix 1 Client Assistance Program Directory
- Appendix 2 Vocational Rehabilitation Directory
- Appendix 3 Other Resources
How the Brain Works
How the Brain Works
- (p.29) 3 How the Brain Works
- Diagnosis: Schizophrenia, Second Edition, second edition
Susan E. Mason
- Columbia University Press
This chapter discusses the brain and its functions, and how and why the “malfunctioning” of the brain can lead to schizophrenia. The brain is a complex organ that regulates a multitude of functions inside the body as part of the nervous system. In order for the entire nervous system to work properly, it needs the help of “neurotransmitters” to communicate signals from the body to the brain in order to determine how the body must respond to outside stimuli. It is in these neurotransmitters where the symptoms of schizophrenia usually develop—with dopamine and glutamate being the usual suspects. Too much of these neurotransmitters can send the wrong messages to the brain, leading a person to think and act in ways they normally wouldn’t otherwise.
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