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Review article
peer-reviewed

Are Diverse Factors Proxies for Architectural Influences? A Case for Architecture in the Aetiology of Schizophrenia.



Abstract

Introduction: The last half-century of epidemiological enquiry into schizophrenia can be characterized by the search for neurological imbalances and lesions for genetic factors. The growing consensus is that these directions have failed, and there is now a growing interest in psychosocial and developmental models. Another area of recent interest is in epigenetics – the multiplication of genetic influences by environmental factors.

Methods: This integrative review comparatively maps current psychosocial, developmental and epigenetic models for schizophrenia epidemiology to identify crossover and theoretical gaps.

Results: In the flood of data that is being produced around the schizophrenia epidemiology, one of the most consistent findings is that schizophrenia is an urban syndrome. Once demographic factors have been discounted, between one-quarter and one-third of all incidence is repeatedly traced back to urbanicity – potentially threatening more established models, such as the psychosocial, genetic and developmental hypotheses.

Conclusions: Close analysis demonstrates how current models for schizophrenia epidemiology appear to miss the mark. Furthermore, the built environment appears to be an inextricable factor in all current models and indeed may be a valid epidemiological factor on its own. The reason the built environment hasn’t already become a de rigueur area of epidemiological research is possibly trivial – it just doesn’t attract enough science, and lacks a hero to promote it alongside other hypotheses.



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Review article
peer-reviewed

Are Diverse Factors Proxies for Architectural Influences? A Case for Architecture in the Aetiology of Schizophrenia.


Author Information

Jan A. Golembiewski Corresponding Author

Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology


Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Conflicts of interest: In compliance with the ICMJE uniform disclosure form, all authors declare the following: Payment/services info: All authors have declared that no financial support was received from any organization for the submitted work. Financial relationships: All authors have declared that they have no financial relationships at present or within the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. Other relationships: All authors have declared that there are no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Schizophrenia Research Institute, utilizing infrastructure funding from NSW Department of Health.


Review article
peer-reviewed

Are Diverse Factors Proxies for Architectural Influences? A Case for Architecture in the Aetiology of Schizophrenia.


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Review article
peer-reviewed

Are Diverse Factors Proxies for Architectural Influences? A Case for Architecture in the Aetiology of Schizophrenia.

Jan A. Golembiewski">Jan A. Golembiewski

  • Author Information
    Jan A. Golembiewski Corresponding Author

    Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology


    Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

    Conflicts of interest: In compliance with the ICMJE uniform disclosure form, all authors declare the following: Payment/services info: All authors have declared that no financial support was received from any organization for the submitted work. Financial relationships: All authors have declared that they have no financial relationships at present or within the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. Other relationships: All authors have declared that there are no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

    Acknowledgements

    This work was supported by the Schizophrenia Research Institute, utilizing infrastructure funding from NSW Department of Health.


    Article Information

    Published: March 18, 2013

    DOI

    10.7759/cureus.106

    Cite this article as:

    Golembiewski J A (March 18, 2013) Are Diverse Factors Proxies for Architectural Influences? A Case for Architecture in the Aetiology of Schizophrenia.. Cureus 5(3): e106. doi:10.7759/cureus.106

    Publication history

    Received by Cureus: January 25, 2013
    Peer review began: January 28, 2013
    Published: March 18, 2013

    Copyright

    © Copyright 2013
    Golembiewski. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    License

    This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Introduction: The last half-century of epidemiological enquiry into schizophrenia can be characterized by the search for neurological imbalances and lesions for genetic factors. The growing consensus is that these directions have failed, and there is now a growing interest in psychosocial and developmental models. Another area of recent interest is in epigenetics – the multiplication of genetic influences by environmental factors.

Methods: This integrative review comparatively maps current psychosocial, developmental and epigenetic models for schizophrenia epidemiology to identify crossover and theoretical gaps.

Results: In the flood of data that is being produced around the schizophrenia epidemiology, one of the most consistent findings is that schizophrenia is an urban syndrome. Once demographic factors have been discounted, between one-quarter and one-third of all incidence is repeatedly traced back to urbanicity – potentially threatening more established models, such as the psychosocial, genetic and developmental hypotheses.

Conclusions: Close analysis demonstrates how current models for schizophrenia epidemiology appear to miss the mark. Furthermore, the built environment appears to be an inextricable factor in all current models and indeed may be a valid epidemiological factor on its own. The reason the built environment hasn’t already become a de rigueur area of epidemiological research is possibly trivial – it just doesn’t attract enough science, and lacks a hero to promote it alongside other hypotheses.



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Jan A. Golembiewski, Ph.D., Professor

Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology

For correspondence:
greenmanarch@gmail.com

Jan A. Golembiewski, Ph.D., Professor

Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology

For correspondence:
greenmanarch@gmail.com