*****FROM ABC NEWS MEDICAL UNIT*****
Hi inmyjudgement and thank you for your question. Here is an answer to your question from Robin Kerner, Ph.D., Director, Quality Initiatives and Outcomes, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center:
What you are referring to is the "dopamine hypothesis' of schizophrenia, which attributes symptoms of schizophrenia to excessive levels of dopamine in the brain. However, the theory does not completely explain the etiology of the disease. More recent research has found that other neurotransmitters (brain chemicals)such as glutamate may also have a role in schizophrenia symptoms, as well as structural brain abnormalities, genetics, and substance use. Finally, social and environmental factors can also trigger psychotic episodes.
As with most psychiatric disorders, schizophrenia like depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders, has a complex etiology. It is unlikely that any one theory can explain the cause of these disorders, rather we now believe that it is a combination of factors, i.e., neurobiologic, neurologic, genetic, environmental, and sociocultural, that lead to the development of a full-blown psychiatric condition.