Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Theory Explains Schizophrenia As Abnormal Courtship; Disorder Survives As Marker For Bad Genes

Date:
March 25, 2005
Source:
University Of California At Los Angeles
Summary:
Scientifically, schizophrenia should not exist. It crushes sexual relationships and reproductive success. Because the illness is genetic, evolution should have eliminated it long ago. Instead, it continues to afflict one in 100 people, too many to be due to just a few kinds of bad genes. A new theory proposes that schizophrenia is an inevitable consequence of courtship behaviors that have evolved expressly to reveal bad genes.

Scientifically, schizophrenia should not exist. It crushes sexual relationships and reproductive success. Because the illness is genetic, evolution should have eliminated it long ago. Instead, it continues to afflict one in 100 people, too many to be due to just a few kinds of bad genes. A new theory proposes that schizophrenia is an inevitable consequence of courtship behaviors that have evolved expressly to reveal bad genes.

Related Articles


This theory suggests schizophrenia is the low-fitness, unattractive version of a sexually selected fitness indicator that evolved through mutual mate choice. In other words, the disease is evolutionarily analogous to a small, dull peacock tail. The article proposes that all human embryos contain genetic instructions for brain systems specialized for a particular form of courtship, perhaps verbal. Because these systems are designed by evolution for courtship, they function as fitness indicators. Many fitness-reducing mutations and environmental hazards can disrupt their development and reduce the attractiveness of courtship. Such disruptions cause great variation in the trait that correlates with underlying fitness. Severe disruptions result in schizophrenia in place of normal courtship behaviors.

This hypothesis may explain schizophrenia's adolescent and early adult onset; why it slashes rates of marriage and reproduction; why it persists despite reproductive disadvantage; why it affects males earlier and more severely; why neurodevelopmental abnormalities are common; why it is associated with fetal hypoxia, viral infection and famine; why dopamine antagonists are therapeutic; and why affected individuals are socially stigmatized.

Lead investigator is Dr. Andrew Shaner, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Department of Psychiatry, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

JOURNAL:

Schizophrenia Research (September 2004). See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09209964.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California At Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California At Los Angeles. "New Theory Explains Schizophrenia As Abnormal Courtship; Disorder Survives As Marker For Bad Genes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325160029.htm>.
University Of California At Los Angeles. (2005, March 25). New Theory Explains Schizophrenia As Abnormal Courtship; Disorder Survives As Marker For Bad Genes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325160029.htm
University Of California At Los Angeles. "New Theory Explains Schizophrenia As Abnormal Courtship; Disorder Survives As Marker For Bad Genes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325160029.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins