Schizophrenia and Evolution:

The greatest achievement of mankind may well be the suppression of dopamine.

Get a deeper understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness by exploring all of evolution.


About Steven Lesk, M.D.

A practicing psychiatrist for thirty-seven years, past Director of Inpatient Psychiatric Services and chairman at the Brooklyn VA Hospital, and assistant professor at the hospital’s affiliated medical school, Lesk has a life of experience observing and treating the mentally ill. His commitment to patients and the subject extends beyond complacency with the existing knowledge of schizophrenia; with well-supported investigation, he pioneered new, better knowledge, the result of which is this book. While audiences may be eager for books about schizophrenia, as proven by Robert Kolker’s Hidden Valley Road, no work exists as medically accurate and scientifically comprehensive as Lesk’s.

About Footprints of Schizophrenia

Of all the mental illnesses, schizophrenia eludes us the most. No matter the strides scientists have made in neurological research nor doctors have made in psychiatric treatment, schizophrenia remains misunderstood, almost complacently mythologized. Without a reason for the illness, patients feel even more alienated than they already do, families are left hopeless, and doctors struggle to provide accurate care. Steven Lesk, though, after a medical career dedicated to those affected by schizophrenia and a determination to find the answer to its existence, presents a groundbreaking theory that will forever change the lives of the mentally ill.

How do you explain the central paradox of schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia and Evolution

We are in a unique evolutionary moment. Human-like beings lived like glorified chimps for some 6-7 million years, not even at the top of the food chain. Then a mere 50,000 years ago we suddenly got language and found ourselves in an entirely different ballgame. For the first time we could participate in our own thought processes! This demanded a radical change in mental function, our minds becoming more complex, and our relationship to the brain neurotransmitter dopamine markedly altered. We have barely begun this exponential metamorphosis which, by 10,000 BC, allowed us to defeat all the other species of the genus Homo and fan out across the globe, and we are still just barely accommodating it. Not everyone is on board yet and at this moment in time one percent of the population will sink back to the pre-language ways of thinking.


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