Study on Behavioral and Cognitive Treatment of Schizophrenia

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The complications that are associated with schizophrenia have created several problems for those suffering from the disease. The complications arise from various areas of the brain that move into inactivity and which lead to both behavioral and cognitive complications. Even though schizophrenia is known to be a main disease, there are specific designs and concepts that can be used to stop the progression of the disease and to activate various areas of the brain. Understanding how this can work, and defining the main complications of schizophrenia can help to reverse the damage to the brain and the accumulation which occurs with the beginning effects of the disease. The treatment method which needs to be used is one which is based on an integrated method that is designed to assist in behavioral and cognitive processes among patients.

Areas of Brain Responsible for the Disease

The basis of schizophrenia is based on the decline of thinking and emotional responsiveness in the mind. The concept is linked specifically to a mental disorder that leads to complications such as hallucinations, paranoid delusions and disorganized speech and thinking. Many also have difficulties with basic physical cognition and movement, specifically because of the transformation which occurs from neurobiological complications. Many refer to this as a split personality or split mind, specifically because one moves in and out of mental cognition and responses with delusions and reality counteracting the main applications and complications. The cognition can then begin to affect basic thinking as well as emotional responses. Those who are diagnosed with schizophrenia are known to suffer from complications such as depression, anxiety and other conditions (Golden, Waraich, 2002).

The main attributes which are linked to schizophrenia are also applicable to brain functioning that begins to change over a given period of time. It is known that schizophrenia occurs in the frontal lobes, hippocampus and temporal lobes of the brain. Each of these begins to function differently because of transfers in neurological patterns through the mind. The neurological pathways are first affected through the release of dopamine, a hormone needed for continuous neurological functioning. The dopamine mesolimbic pathways become blocked and stop releasing the neurological needs into the mind. This lessens the dopamine activity and starts to trigger phenothiazines and amphetamines, both which are associated with the causes of schizophrenia. The neurological pathways then become imbalanced and lead to blocks in the brain that don't allow the correct type of receptors for the hormones that are released through the mind (Jones, 2002).

As the dopamine is blocked through active pathways and other chemicals begin to associate with the brain, other imbalances begin to occur. This comes from side effects that are released in the brain and which are triggered by the blocked dopamine in the mind. The most common side effect is known as akathisia, which is an increase in norepinephrine levels through the mind. This triggers specific glutamate receptors that are responsible for changing the symptoms of the mind and creating a balance with cognitive and emotional behaviors. It is also noted that the size and structure of the brain creates a difference in the brain and the ability for the balances to either be blocked or to find pathways for the dopamine. If the volume of the brain is reduced, then the ventricular volume can increase, which leads to healthy or unhealthy controls. Neurodegenerative processes then begin to arise, which leads to worsening of schizophrenia, specifically which occurs with the changing volume of the brain through age and neurodevelopmental processes (Delisi, 2008).

Behavioral Program Design

To trigger a response for schizophrenia, changes have to be made to the brain functioning and gateways which are being used. The treatment which can be made through a behavioral design is required to change the pathways from dopamine and to alter the chemicals and neurological responses in the brain. The behavioral program design will be based on creating initiatives that will change the process of schizophrenia in earlier stages while helping to reverse some of the process in patients. The design will be combined with different applications for the gateways, specifically to alter the behavioral and emotional patterns that are associated with schizophrenia. The result of the design will be to lessen the effects of schizophrenia and to begin working toward behavioral changes that eliminate the severity of schizophrenia.

The most common form of behavioral program designs is based on the concept of integrated psychological therapy (IPT). This is designed to help with the biological, cognitive and emotional processes that lead to specific behaviors through those that are suffering from schizophrenia. IPT therapy has been used to assist those with schizophrenia in attention, abstraction and concept formation while altering the performance of different patients below the normal range of schizophrenia. The work which is done with IPT is based on working with clients on expected behaviors which are no longer triggered in the mind, specifically by focusing on the behaviors which change through the frontal lobes, hippocampus and temporal lobes. The intervention will also continuously work with patients to trigger the emotional responses by continuously finding ways to stimulate the same patterns in the mind and to change the behavioral approaches in the mind (Brenner et al, 1992).

The integrated treatment for those with schizophrenia can then begin to incorporate other behavioral and cognitive approaches that are associated with the disease. Another tactic which can be added onto the emotional, mental and physical work is by using social perceptions for rehab. The more in which one can integrate and associate with others, the easier it becomes to treat schizophrenia and to trigger the neurological functioning that is within the brain. Behavioral intervention is the main component of the social interactions, specifically which is designed to trigger neurological symptoms and activate the chemicals and hormones in the brain, such as dopamine. This concept is one that is known as a manualized cognitive - behavioral treatment specifically because different social triggers can be used that naturally stimulate the neurological process of the mind while enhancing other brain activity, such as problem solving skills and interactions which require changed perspectives of the brain (Fernandez, 2001).

The social stigma that will be used will also be combined with the IPT of rehabilitation through cognitive - behavior therapy and vocational rehabilitation. The cognitive behavior therapy is based on triggering the areas of the mind that have been affected by the neurological processes in the mind and which don't provide the correct responses. Finding ways to trigger these different areas of the mind and stimulating the cognitive processes that are used in this area of the brain can help the mind to begin to move into higher levels of activity and can stimulate the main processes that are being used in the mind. The more in which the mind is stimulated with specific neurological processes, it becomes to have the correct response system. However, this requires intervention with the correct types of activity that are known to enhance and change the neurological processes that are used and which can trigger specific responses by patients who are suffering from mild schizophrenia. Starting with mild symptoms can then help to reverse the process and will prevent further complexities with the disease (Glynn, 2003).

The neurological process that is used can be combined with vocational rehabilitation. The implication of this treatment is based on the capability to provide leisure activities and different components that relax the mind and which allow the neurological processes to work effectively. The various processes which are used through this can be combined with vocational treatment that is based on stimulating the mind by first relaxing it. As the mind relaxes, there is the ability to use vocational activities and specific programs that are designed to have defined behavioral and cognitive responses. The brain activity will be stimulated and can potentially have higher levels of reactions, specifically because there is the capability of changing the levels of behavioral and cognitive responses by allowing the patient to relax first. It is known that this helps to stimulate the gateways for dopamine processes while triggering different chemicals that are within the brain (Glynn, 2003).

The combination of different IPT options are all designed to activate the brain through different behavioral and cognitive processes, all which can stimulate and change the way in which the brain is functioning. It is known that combining behavioral activities, social stimulus, cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational rehabilitation, schizophrenia can be drastically reduced and may not become as complex with the processes that are being used. The behavioral and cognitive therapy which is defined is known to provide improvement among schizophrenic patients while altering the processes for both behavior and cognitive processes. In a recent study (Prouteau et al, 2005), it was noted that the complete rehabilitation program that patients undergo with schizophrenia provides enhancement and progression. When testing those with schizophrenia after 18 months, there was improvement in the cognitive processes and behavioral patterns. The social competence levels, visio - spatial relationships and cognitive performance all improved drastically, showing that the complete design for eliminating schizophrenia is able to have positive results (Prouteau et al, 2005).

Even though the complete rehabilitation program for cognitive and behavioral approaches can be used to treat those with schizophrenia, it is also noted that there is the need to find new approaches that are triggered by the process and treatment. Even though the rehabilitation programs increase functioning, the cure for schizophrenia is limited. More important, the approaches used can only minimize schizophrenia and have to be used with medication that is taken continuously by those suffering from the disease. New concepts can be approached in defining the severity of the disease by understanding more of how the dopamine affects specific components of behavior and cognitive processes, while working to trigger the gateways into acceptance of more dopamine to increase the patients who can be treated completely for schizophrenia (Sanders, 2005).


The complexity of schizophrenia is one which is noted among practitioners for the complex changes which occur in the mind. It is now understood that block of dopamine to different areas of the brain and new levels of chemicals and neurological functioning lead to schizophrenia and the problems which are associated with the disease. However, it is also being found that prevention programs and treatments can be used to assist those that are suffering from schizophrenia. In determining a rehabilitation program, it can be seen that an integrated process for treatment can be used. This can be combined with vocational, behavioral, cognitive and social treatments, all which can help in minimizing and eliminating the problems with schizophrenia so patients can begin to function normally in their lives.