New treatment to aid Schizophrenia patients

Patients with Schizophrenia

Patients with Schizophrenia

Hearing voices is a common symptom among schizophrenia patients, with 70% of them suffering from high levels of anxiety and distraction in daily life actions as a result, however, around 30% of patients suffering from verbal hallucinations do not respond to the medicine prescribed.

Twelve patients were asked to play a video game while in an MRI scanner, using their own mental abilities to move a computerized rocket.

A pilot study by researchers at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and the University of Roehampton has suggested the new technique can help patients who experience hallucinations but do not respond to medication.

It basically involves patients monitoring their own neural activity in the speech sensitive region of the brain while sitting in an MRI scanner.

People who suffer from schizophrenia are known to have a more active auditory cortex, meaning they are incredibly sensitive to sounds and voices.

Neural activity is represented by a computerised space rocket and patients are instructed to land the rocket by bringing it down to earth.

Dr Natasza Orlov, of King's IoPPN, stated: "We urged our patients to utilize a similar control techniques that they learnt in the MRI scanner at home".

"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".

The specialists of Neuro-imaging focused on an area in the brain that takes major part in speech and human voices, and is highly intense among schizophrenia and verbal hallucinations patients.

It was the first time neurofeedback techniques have been investigated for schizophrenia and verbal hallucinations and now the scientists plan randomised controlled study to test this technique in a larger sample.

"Although the study sample size is small and we lacked a control group, these results are promising".

Teacher Paul Allen, from the University of Roehampton, stated: "The consequences of this pilot are astonishing as almost everyone in the patient gathering could control the space rocket, effectively acquiring the rocket the game down to the ground".

"These are still early days in our exploration, in any case, patients who partook in the pilot study have disclosed to us that the preparation has helped them to quiet their outer voices down, with the goal that they could disguise them more".

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.