It would be possible to improve the quality of life of schizophrenics with video games. According to the results of a new study conducted by teams of researchers from the “King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience” and the University of Roehampton video games can calm schizophrenia patients.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness characterized by difficulties in sharing an interpretation of the reality with others, resulting in bizarre, sometimes delusional, behaviors and speech.
Also, hallucinations, both visual and auditory, are common symptoms of schizophrenia patients.
Schizophrenia is commonly treated with antipsychotics (also known as neuroleptics) but medical authorities in many countries recommend this treatment to be combined with cognitive and behavioral therapy to relieve the cognitive symptoms associated with the disorder – attention disorders, memory, speed of information processing, and so on.
A Video Game Calms Schizophrenia Patients
The aforementioned study was recently published in journal Translational Psychiatry and has been conducted on 12 patients suffering from schizophrenia. The patients were told to land a rocket in a video game that was connected to their brain, while they were scanned with an MRI.
The results were surprisingly positive. The researchers were able to observe that all the patients successfully landed the rocket and that their auditory hallucinations became less stressful.
The researchers plan for more
All the researchers involved in this study are aware of the fact that this study is small and no control group has been established. However, scientists think that the results are very good.
Therefore, they plan to test the same procedure on a control group to compare the results.
Even more, the researchers are hoping that soon they’ll be able to conduct a study of a much larger scale in order to clearly see if video games can calm schizophrenia patients with auditory hallucinations.