Saturday, 17 Nov 2018

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Schizophrenia patients calmed by video game: Research

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Health Desk: 13 February 2018: A new research said people with schizophrenia can be trained by playing a video game to control the part of the brain linked to verbal hallucinations

Patients in a small study were able to land a rocket in the game when it was connected to the brain region sensitive to speech and human voices.

In time, the patients learnt to use the technique in their daily lives to reduce the power of hallucinations.

But this is a small pilot study and the findings still need to be confirmed.

The research team, from King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and the University of Roehampton, says the technique could be used to help schizophrenia patients who do not respond to medication.

People with the condition are known to have a more active auditory cortex, which means they are more sensitive to sounds and voices.

Dr Natasza Orlov, from King's College London, said: "The patients know when the voices are about to start - they can feel it, so we want them to immediately put this aid into effect to lessen them, or stop the voices completely."

She said all the patients in the study, who each had four turns in the MRI scanner, found that their voices became less external and more internal, making them less stressful. They were also better able to cope with them.

Courtesy: BBC Health