Schizophrenia patients calmed by video game

Schizophrenia patients calmed by video game

Schizophrenia patients calmed by video game

Over time, the patients learned to use the technique daily and saw a reduction in verbal hallucinations.

"This means by utilizing this system, patients learnt to control cerebrum movement in the area of the brain that responds to voices - a region we know is hyperactive in people whom encounter sound-related verbal hallucinations".

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.

They said their exploration indicates sufferers can learn mental systems to help facilitate their side effects.

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Brain imaging experts targeted a region of the brain which is sensitive to speech and human voices, and is hyperactive in people with schizophrenia and verbal hallucinations.

To try to control their symptoms, they were asked to play a video game while in an MRI scanner, using their own mental strategies to move a computerised rocket - and in doing so they were able to turn down the volume on the external voices they heard as well.

All 12 patients in the study experienced nasty and threatening verbal hallucinations every day - a common symptom of schizophrenia.

After four visits to the MRI scanner, patients were able to reduce neural activity in the speech sensitive region of the brain and were able to control their brain activity without the visual feedback from the space rocket.

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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 going to begin - they can feel it, so we need them to instantly put this guide into impact to decrease them, or stop the voices totally".

Professor Paul Allen, from the University of Roehampton, added: 'The results of this pilot are astonishing as nearly everyone in the patient group was able to control the space rocket, successfully bringing the rocket in the game back down to the ground. "We are now planning to conduct a randomized controlled study to test this technique in a larger sample".

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".

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"These are still early days in our research, however, patients who took part in the pilot study have told us that the training has helped them to calm their external voices down, so that they were able to internalise them more".

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