Pathophysiology Knowledge

Walden Module 6 Pathophysiology Knowledge Check

Pathophysiology Knowledge Check

A 21-year-old male college student was brought to Student Health Services by his girlfriend who was concerned about changes in her boyfriend’s behaviors. The girlfriend says that recently he began hearing voices and believes everyone is out to get him. The student says he is unable to finish school because the voices told him he was not smart enough. The girlfriend relates episodes of unexpected rage and crying. Past medical history noncontributory but family history positive for a first cousin who “had mental problems”. Denies current drug abuse but states he smoked marijuana every day during his junior and senior years of high school. He admits to drinking heavily on weekends at various fraternity houses. A physical exam reveals a thin, anxious disheveled male who, during conversations, stops talking, cocks his head, and appears to be listening to something. There is poor eye contact and the conversation is rambling.

Based on the observed behaviors and information from the girlfriend, the APRN believes the student has schizophrenia.

Question 1 of 4:

Describe the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and relate those symptoms to the case study patient.

Question 2 of 4:

Explain the genetics of schizophrenia.

Question 3 of 4:

The APRN reviews recent literature and reads that neurotransmitters are involved in the development of schizophrenia. What roles do neurotransmitters play in the development of schizophrenia?

Question 4 of 4

The APRN reviews recent literature and reads that structural problems in the brain may be involved in the development of schizophrenia. Explain what structural abnormalities are seen in people with schizophrenia.




Pathophysiology Knowledge




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Pathophysiology Knowledge

  1. Untangling the hidden conundrums of the human body, pathophysiology spotlights the intricate dance between health and infirmity, providing a gateway to unsealing a globe of irreplaceable medical insights. Pathophysiology is an essential field of study that involves comprehending how infirmities or disorders alter the normal functioning of the human body (Angeli et al., 2019). It entails evaluating the underlying procedures and processes that lead to the evolvement and progression of various pathological conditions. By exploring the intricate interplay between molecular, cellular, and organ systems, pathophysiology knowledge equips valuable insights into disorders’ etiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations (Ogino et al., 2019). This knowledge check act as a means to evaluate an individual’s understanding of the complex mechanisms driving infirmity progression and the resulting physiological changes. Through an in-depth comprehension of pathophysiology, healthcare professionals can improve their indicative and therapeutic decision-making abilities, resulting in enhanced patient outcomes and the development of medical science. This essay explores a case study of a 21-year-old male college student brought to Student Health Services by his girlfriend, who was distressed about changes in her boyfriend’s behaviors. From the case study, this paper will discuss the emphatic symptoms of schizophrenia connecting to the patient, the genetics of schizophrenia, the role played by neurotransmitters in the advancement of schizophrenia, and the structural abnormalities seen in people with schizophrenia.

The Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia Relating to the Symptoms of the Patient in the Case Study

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental infirmity distinguished by a range of symptoms. The emphatic symptoms of schizophrenia include phantasmagoria, delusions, disjointed speech, and applesauce behavior (Arfani, 2018). In the case study above, the patient demonstrates numerous positive symptoms consistent with schizophrenia. The existence of auditory hallucinations, where the patient hears voices and believes everyone is out to get him, is a definitive symptom. These hallucinations contribute to his belief that he is not intelligent enough to finish school, as he is domineered by the voices he hears. The patient also indicates disorganized behavior and speech, as apparent by his episodes of unexpected rage, crying, and rambling conversations. In addition, his poor eye contact interrupted speech and moments of apparent listening to things that do not exist suggest disorganized thoughts. Considering the family history of mental issues, along with a history of heavy drinking and the use of marijuana during adolescence, the advanced practice registered nurse’s intuition of schizophrenia seems reasonable based on the existence of such emphatic symptoms.

The Genetics of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a multiplex psychiatric infirmity influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The genetic implementation of schizophrenia has been extensively studied, and research has shown a severe hereditary component to the disorder. While the actual genetic mechanism underlying schizophrenia is not entirely comprehended, it is believed that multiple genes are included, each contributing a small risk (McCutcheon et al., 2020). Family studies have consistently demonstrated that individuals with a first-degree relative, like a sibling or parent, who has schizophrenia are at a higher risk of acquiring the infirmity themselves contrasted to the general population. The case study shows that the first cousin has mental issues indicating a possible genetic predisposition for schizophrenia within the family. Genome-wide association studies have recognized various genetic variations connected to an elevated risk of schizophrenia (Ikeda et al., 2018). These variations are consistently located in neurotransmission, synaptic function, and brain evolvement genes. It is essential to note that having these genetic variations does not mean an individual will acquire schizophrenia, as other factors, like environmental stimulation, also participate. Environmental factors like prenatal infections, complications during birth, exposure to specific toxins, and stressful life events can interact with genetic vulnerabilities to elevate the risk of acquiring the disorder. With the exact genetic cause of schizophrenia remaining complex and multifactorial, research suggests that there is a solid genetic element to the infirmity. Multiple genes, combined with environmental factors, subscribe to an individual’s vulnerability to suffering from schizophrenia.

The Role Played by Neurotransmitters in the Development of Schizophrenia

Neurotransmitters play a pivotal role in conserving homeostasis for the uninterrupted body. Neurotransmitters are chemical emissaries in the brain, accelerating communication between neurons, and in schizophrenia, it is clear that misproportions in certain neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin (Bansal & Chatterjee, 2021). Dopamine dysregulation has been incriminated in the emphatic manifestations of schizophrenia, like hallucinations and delusions. Excessive dopamine activity in specific brain regions may subscribe to the perception of reality distortion. Glutamate abnormalities, specifically in the prefrontal cortex, are assumed to be involved in the cognitive disablements monitored in schizophrenia. Serotonin imbalances have also been enmeshed in the modulation of mood and affective symptoms in schizophrenia. While neurotransmitter imbalances alone cannot completely elucidate the complexity of schizophrenia, they are believed to subscribe to the neurochemical abnormalities underlying the infirmity.

Structural Abnormalities Seen in People with Schizophrenia

Structural abnormalities in the brain of persons with schizophrenia have been widely documented in research studies. These abnormalities customarily involve alterations in several brain regions and neural circuits. One of the most compatible discoveries is a reduction in overall brain magnitude, involving a lessening in the size of the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and temporal lobes (Hamner et al., 2018). The prefrontal cortex, engaged in higher-order cognitive effectiveness and decision-making, is frequently found to be impacted explicitly in individuals with schizophrenia. Other structural abnormalities are enlarged ventricles, fluid-filled spaces in the brain, and lessened white matter integrity, suggesting disruptions in the communication pathways among distinct brain regions. These structural malformations are thought to subscribe to the cognitive and emotional disturbance monitored in schizophrenia, involving hallucinations, delusions, and damaged thinking and social operation. It is essential to note that while structural malformations are commonly connected to schizophrenia, they are not absolute to the infirmity and can also be present in persons without mental health conditions.


An inclusive comprehension of pathophysiology knowledge is crucial in assessing and managing numerous disorders like schizophrenia. The emphatic manifestations monitored in the patient align with the features manifestations of schizophrenia, indicating the importance of identifying and addressing these symptoms. Genetic factors are critical in establishing schizophrenia, emphasizing the significance of gene counseling and individualized treatment perspectives. However, the self-defeating of neurotransmitters, like dopamine and glutamate, subscribe to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, guiding therapeutic interventions targeting these imbalances. Structural abnormalities in the brain, including the enlarging of ventricles and lessening of gray matter volume, equip further insights into the neural underpinnings of schizophrenia, aiding the growth of novel diagnostic methods and therapeutic interventions. By integrating knowledge about these crucial aspects of pathophysiology knowledge, healthcare professionals can improve their ability to understand, diagnose, and treat schizophrenia successfully.


















Angeli, P., Garcia-Tsao, G., Nadim, M. K., & Parikh, C. R. (2019). News in pathophysiology, definition and classification of hepatorenal syndrome: a step beyond the International Club of Ascites (ICA) consensus document. Journal of Hepatology71(4), 811-822.

Arfani, S. (2018). The Schizophrenia in The Main Character of a Beautiful Mind Movie Directed by Ron Howard. Wanastra: Jurnal Bahasa Dan Sastra10(1), 9-16.

Bansal, V., & Chatterjee, I. (2021). Role of neurotransmitters in schizophrenia: a comprehensive study. Kuwait Journal of Science48(2).

Hamner, T., Udhnani, M. D., Osipowicz, K. Z., & Lee, N. R. (2018). Pediatric brain development in Down syndrome: a field in its infancy. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society24(9), 966-976.

Ikeda, M., Saito, T., Kondo, K., & Iwata, N. (2018). Genome‐wide association studies of bipolar disorder: A systematic review of recent findings and their clinical implications. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences72(2), 52-63.

McCutcheon, R. A., Marques, T. R., & Howes, O. D. (2020). Schizophrenia—an overview. JAMA psychiatry77(2), 201-210.

Ogino, S., Nowak, J. A., Hamada, T., Milner Jr, D. A., & Nishihara, R. (2019). Insights into pathogenic interactions among environment, host, and tumor at the crossroads of molecular pathology and epidemiology. Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease14, 83-103.

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