Computer games against schizophrenia with “astonishing results”
It is at King’s College in London that experts have tested a single computer game in the treatment of schizophrenia, reports Dailymail.co.uk.
In the limited study of twelve patients, who admittedly did not have a control group, the game has proved to be very effective. By using the game a few times, almost everyone has developed skills where they can better control the voices in their head (verbal hallucinations).
Check the rocket
The computer game is connected to an MRI machine that charts brain activity in real time and looks especially for activity in superior temporal gyrus – the part of the brain that becomes most active when patients suffering from schizophrenia hear voices.
When the brain becomes active, a rocket launches to fly in the weather, and the patients were given the task of developing mental strategies to rescue the rocket on Earth. None of the patients should have been given specific instructions on how to control the rocket.
The technique is known as neurofeedback and almost all patients should have developed techniques to control the voices.
– Better than years of medication
According to researcher Dr Natasza Orlov, patients are able to know when the voices are about to start and have now learned to use the technique without using the MRI machine and games.
According to Orlov, results are better than several years of medication.
“The results from the pilot are amazing since almost everyone in a patient group has managed to control the rocket and bring the rocket back to earth,” said colleague professor Paul Allen from the University of Roehampton to Dailymail.co.uk.
Everyone points out that research remains a lot, but the patients themselves have said that the training has helped them calm down the voices.
– Interesting from a respected research group
According to K enneth Hugdahl, a professor of biological psychology at the University of Bergen and researching hearing hallucinations of schizophrenia, D ette is an interesting study from a respected research group.
“The study uses a method called neurofeedback, and it is a method of learning” thinking away the voices “when they become annoying, he tells PressFire.
– The method is a variant of cognitive therapy to minimize negative effects of the voices, and has been shown to have effect as a compliment to traditional treatment.
Nevertheless, he points out that attendance in the laboratory for exercise is a limitation and it is still uncertain to what extent the skills the patients acquire in the fMRI laboratory generalize to everyday life when the voices return.
“The results are potentially promising, but there are some things left before we know which patients it will work and how effective the training is in other situations outside the laboratory.