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Paternal Age and Mental Illness - Term Paper Example

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This paper two psychology articles related to paternal age and mental illness in children were reviewed in order to compare and contrast similar yet different sources of information. The both articles provide information about the effect of increasing paternal age on mental illness in offspring…
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Download file to see previous pages Raeburn mentions the study by Dolores Malaspina that was one of the first to research schizophrenia as a biological illness caused by paternal rather than maternal genes. It had always been assumed that because woman’s eggs age at the same rate she does, they began to deteriorate. Some geneticists, however, had begun to think that continuous copying of genes during sperm productions leads to increased error and therefore genetic disorders in children. Malaspina used information on almost 90,000 children and their parents in Israel and found “that paternal age was strongly linked to the risk of schizophrenia.” While Malaspina’s research has been repeated, this mechanism for schizophrenia development is not universally agreed upon and more research is required.
The second article reviewed is, in fact, the results of the study performed by Delores Malaspina and her colleagues. The male germ line is seen as a new source for genetic mutations, likely because of errors occurring during replication of sperm cells. The Israel Psychiatric Registry contains records of 87, 907 individuals born in Jerusalem between 1964 and 1976 and these were used to establish a link between advanced paternal age and Schizophrenia. This was an ideal group as it was based on an entire population, therefore eliminating bias in sampling. After controlling maternal age and other factors, results showed “that paternal age was a strong and significant predictor of the schizophrenia diagnosis, but not for other psychiatric disorders.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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