Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Excellent lecture by Stanford professor about biology of sz


If you are curious about the biological underpinnings of schizophrenia, the lecture titled “Schizophrenia” by Prof. Sapolsky at Stanford is excellent. I found it on youtube.

He is very engaging. If you’ve ever run into people who think that your loved one should just pull it together or don’t believe it’s a real disease or think it is some kind of character defect, well then I think knowledge is powerful and the more we know and understand the more we can advocate for the ones we love who suffer with this.



Yay! Thanks. That’s it.


Quite popular here about six month ago.

And because he was one of Bruce McEwen’s =very= best students, he’s near the top of my list of faves.

And for those who understand the diathesis-stress model of inducing sz in those with the as yet un-tripped genetic switch, Bobby is The Man.


Oh! Sorry to repeat…I’m new here obviously.

Thanks for sharing this list of books!


Something loosely related to this is a distinction sometimes invoked in discussing matters of mental health, that between conceiving of our problems as either psychological or biological. The relation between the mind and the brain is a difficult one, but I think we should not see them as entirely distinct. I do so for I think it doesn’t make sense on philosophical grounds, but those are not too important here.

Many people that spend some time thinking about the mind and the brain, conceive of feedback loops between the two. Such a conception allows to make sense of ‘higher level’ or ‘top-down’ interventions such as therapy, to influence the ‘lower levels’ of neural networks and the like. On the other hand, it can also account for the fact that ‘bottom up’ or ‘lower level’ interventions in the brain, such as medication, influence the mind.

I think some conceptions of the mind-brain relationship are not useful to us as patients. We are not mere slaves of our biological makeup. Nor is it as if that doesn’t affect us at all. We can make a difference in recovery by top down approaches. These are bound to affect the brain in some way. And bottom-up approaches are also effective, they change the brain, and by doing so alter our minds.

Of course schizophrenia is a brain disease. But it is just as much a mind-disease. If my mind wasn’t affected by it, and I was somehow sure that it wasn’t going to be either, I wouldn’t care about my brain to be honest. But the two are heavily interrelated, which is why I do care about both. I’m just worried that for some, an underlying conception of the two as entirely distinct, can give rise to the notion of the condition being beyond your control entirely, placing all faith in medication alone, neglecting approaches that you as a minded person can take to better your life.