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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It can cause people to have unusual thoughts or beliefs, difficulty expressing their emotions, and trouble understanding the world around them. By better understanding what part of the brain schizophrenia affects, it can help the individual better understand their condition and how they can benefit from treatment.

Man sitting on bed with Schizophrenia symptoms. What part of the brain does Schizophrenia affect?

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Before answering the question, “What part of the brain does schizophrenia affect?” it helps to pinpoint just what schizophrenia is. Some of the more common signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can include the following:

  • Hallucinations: Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, such as voices or people who aren’t present.
  • Delusions: Believing something that isn’t true, such as believing you are being followed or spied on.
  • Disorganized speech and thinking: Switching quickly between topics, speaking in a confusing way, and having difficulty focusing on one topic of conversation.
  • Decreased motivation: Feeling unmotivated to do everyday activities like showering or going to work or school.
  • Social withdrawal: Avoiding social situations and not wanting to engage with others. This can be due to paranoia or fear of judgment from others.
  • Lack of emotion: Reduced ability to express emotions (flat affect) or an overall decrease in the range of emotions felt and expressed by an individual. This may also manifest itself as apathy toward events that would generally be emotionally stimulating for other individuals (e.g., not feeling sadness at a funeral).

Are There Different Stages of Schizophrenia?

Yes, there are different stages of schizophrenia. These include the prodromal (early), acute, and residual stages. During the prodromal (early) stage, symptoms such as social withdrawal and changes in thinking may begin to appear. However, in answering the question, “What part of the brain does schizophrenia affect?” all stages affect roughly the same area of the brain.

More severe symptoms like delusions and hallucinations become prominent during the acute stage. Finally, some symptoms may persist during the residual stage, but they will be less intense than during the acute phase. Treatment is available at all stages of schizophrenia.

What Part of the Brain Does Schizophrenia Affect?

Schizophrenia affects the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which regulates emotions and decision-making. It is believed that an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are at least partially responsible for symptoms. This imbalance can affect how neurons communicate with each other in the prefrontal cortex. This leads to changes in behavior and thinking.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Diagnosis may include using psychological tests, conducting interviews with family members and friends of the patient, and obtaining medical records. A physical exam may also be conducted to rule out any other potential causes for these symptoms.

How Is Schizophrenia Treated?

Schizophrenia is treated with a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle modifications, each tailored to the person’s specific needs.

Antipsychotic Medications

These drugs work to balance out the neurotransmitter levels in the brain and can help reduce symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and difficulty managing emotions.


This therapy can help individuals better understand their condition and learn how to cope with it. It can also support patients dealing with difficult emotions or stressful situations related to schizophrenia.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping individuals identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and replace them with more helpful ones. This form of therapy is effective in reducing symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as paranoia, depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts.

DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)

DBT is a type of psychotherapy that teaches individuals how to regulate their emotions and manage distress more effectively. It is effective in reducing symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, and substance abuse.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

EMDR is a type of therapy combining cognitive-behavioral and hypnotherapy elements to help individuals process and resolve traumatic memories. It is effective in reducing symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts.

Family Therapy

Involving family members in treatment can benefit those living with schizophrenia, as it provides additional support. Additionally, family members may better understand the disorder, so they are better equipped to provide care for their loved one affected by it.

Lifestyle Modifications

Making changes to an individual’s lifestyle, such as getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding drugs or alcohol, and engaging in activities that bring pleasure and relaxation, can help reduce stress levels which may worsen symptoms associated with schizophrenia

TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)

TMS is a non-invasive treatment that uses magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain and has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Spravato (Esketamine Nasal Spray)

Spravato is a medication approved by the FDA to treat schizophrenia. It works by blocking certain brain receptors, which can help reduce symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

Brain Mapping

Brain mapping is a technique used to analyze brain activity and can help identify areas of the brain that may be affected by schizophrenia. This information can then be used to create personalized treatment plans based on an individual’s specific needs.

Is Schizophrenia Curable?

Schizophrenia is not curable but it is treatable. And with proper treatment, many individuals can live fulfilling lives when they get help.

Schizophrenia Treatment in Dunwoody, GA

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If you or a loved one exhibits the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, personalized treatment is available. Southern Live Oak Wellness in Dunwoody, GA provides a safe and supportive environment to start treatment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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