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More Clues Found for Schizophrenia

Smells, sound and tropical rains offer new hints

The circumstantial evidence into the causes of schizophrenia continues to accumulate, though new pieces of the puzzle of the mental disorder don't always fit neatly together. The latest discoveries involve the senses of smell and sound and a seemingly disconnected pattern of tropical weather.

The reports that schizophrenics seem to lack the ability to enjoy pleasant odors, while they react strongly to unpleasant smells. The researchers who made the discovery say that implies that people with the disorder have a hypersensitivity to unpleasantness.

Another recent discovery involves loud noises. This HealthDay story says young men who are likely to develop the disorder show no difference when they are startled by two successive loud noises. Normal young men are not quite as startled by a second loud noise, the story says.

And this story from Psychiatric News says people born during the rainy season in tropical areas have a higher likelihood of developing the mental illness. A similar seasonal link was found in temperate and northern areas where winter is the likelier birth season for people with the disease.

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