New Therapy for Schizophrenia

Posted on December 17, 2018

A new form of therapy has been found to be quite promising in its use as a treatment plan for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is one of the more complicated disorders to treat, partly because its symptoms include multiple areas of impairment, from mood to cognition.

Targeted cognitive training (TCT) uses specific computer tasks, such as games that target various functions of brain cognition, e.g. memory- and learning-based games, to improve the way patients process information.

TCT has shown to be successful in the treatment of mild to moderate schizophrenia under closely supervised conditions, but its effectiveness in chronic cases in non-laboratory settings remains to be seen.

In a study investigating the effectiveness of TCT on auditory and verbal impairments among the more severe conditions, 46 patients with schizophrenia psychosis were randomly assigned to either the usual treatment (TAU) or TAU with the addition of TCT, in which the patients completed computer games involving a multitude of learning and memory tasks.

The results showed that among patients in the TAU+TCT condition, verbal learning and auditory perceptions scores increased, and the severity of hallucinations decreased. The results did not appear to be related to age, symptoms presented or the duration of the disorder, suggesting that TCT is a beneficial treatment even for those who present with more severe symptoms of schizophrenia.

However, the authors cautioned that before the effectiveness of TCT can be concluded, there is still a lot of research to be done to fine tune the exact details and mechanisms underlying the feasibility of the use of TCT. It is postulated that one of the underlying mechanisms that make TCT effective lies in its targeting and improving of auditory functions, which has been shown in past research to be critical to resulting dysfunctions in the cognitive processing of information for schizophrenic individuals.


Source material from Medical Xpress

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