As with many psychological disorders, a single definitive cause has yet to be determined for schizoaffective disorder. However, several informed contributing causes have been suggested.
Genetics plays a strong role: schizoaffective disorder is more likely to appear if a family member has the condition. This plays into the differences in brain chemistry that are often found in the brains of these individuals. Research in this area is fairly new, but excessive production of dopamine, enlarged ventricles in the brain, and decreased brain volume may contribute to psychotic symptoms linked to schizophrenia.
Likewise, genetics also contributes to mood disorders, as do differing neurotransmitters in brains of those with a mood disturbance.
Generally, this condition begins to appear in early adulthood, and stressful situations may trigger the onset of symptoms: losing a job or loved one and other extremely stressful events may contribute. Some experts also suggest drug use may elicit psychotic symptoms and mood disruption.
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