Saturday December 14, 2019

High-Frequency Magnetic Pulses May Treat “Hearing of Voices” Condition of Schizophrenia Patients: Study

People with schizophrenia experience delusions, muddled thoughts, and hallucinations

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schizophrenia
"Hearing of voices" condition experienced by schizophrenia patients. Pixabay

London, Sep 06, 2017: Researchers have found that high-frequency magnetic pulses can improve “hearing of voices” condition experienced by many patients with schizophrenia.

The research presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) conference in Paris identified the area of the brain involved in the condition in some patients.

Also Read: New hormone test may distinguish schizophrenia, depression  

“This is the first controlled trial to precisely determine an anatomically defined brain area where high frequency magnetic pulses can improve the hearing of voices,” said lead researcher Sonia Dollfus, Professor at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Caen in France.

Schizophrenia is a serious long-term mental health problem. People with schizophrenia experience a range of symptoms, which may include delusions, muddled thoughts and hallucinations.

One of the best-known is hearing voices, also known as Auditory Verbal Hallucination (AVH), which around 70 per cent of people with schizophrenia experience at some point.

These voices, may be ‘heard’ as having a variety of different characteristics, for example as internal or external, friendly or threatening, they may be continuously present or present only occasionally, and so on.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), which uses magnetic pulses to the brain, has been suggested as a possible way of treating the hearing of voices in schizophrenia.

However, there is a lack of controlled trials to show that TMS works effectively in treating “hearing of voices”.

The French research team worked with a small group of patients who received active TMS treatment. A control group received sham (placebo) treatment.

The researchers interviewed the patients using a standard protocol — the Auditory Hallucinations Rating Scale — which revealed most of the characteristic features of the voices which they were hearing.

The treated patients received a series of 20 Hz high-frequency magnetic pulses over two sessions a day for two days.

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the pulses were targetted at a specific brain area in the temporal lobe, which is associated with language.

After two weeks, the patients were re-evaluated. The researchers found that 34.6 per cent of the patients being treated by TMS showed a significant response, whereas only 9.1 per cent of patients in the sham group responded. (IANS)

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Quit Smoking Else Develop Depression Or Schizophrenia

Study says that smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of developing depression

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Developing depression
Quit smoking as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia. Pixabay

If you are a regular smoker, quit now as researchers have found that tobacco smoking may increase your risk of developing depression and schizophrenia.

“Individuals with mental illness are often overlooked in our efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, leading to health inequalities,” said study lead author Robyn Wootton from the University of Bristol.

“Our work shows that we should be making every effort to prevent smoking initiation and encourage smoking cessation because of the consequences to mental health as well as physical health,” Wootton added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Medicine, the research team used UK Biobank data from 462,690 individuals of European ancestry, comprising 8 per cent current smokers and 22 per cent former smokers.

Smokers suffering form depression
Smoking can have adverse effects on mental health and develops the risk of depression. Pixabay

The team applied an analytic approach called Mendelian randomisation, which uses genetic variants associated with an exposure (e.g. smoking) to support stronger conclusions about cause-and-effect relationships.

“The increasing availability of genetic data in large studies, together with the identification of genetic variants associated with a range of behaviours and health outcomes, is transforming our ability to use techniques such as Mendelian randomisation to understand causal pathways,” said study senior author Marcus Munafò.

“What this shows is that genetic studies can tell us as much about environmental influences – in this case the effects of smoking on mental health – as about underlying biology,” Munafo added.

Read Also-Smoking Increases Facial Ageing, Says Study

The research also suggests that smoking can have adverse effects on mental health.This new evidence adds further weight to support the implementation of smoke-free policies.

Not only is there evidence that smoking can be detrimental to mental health, but much of the excess mortality associated with depression is due to smoking, the study added. (IANS)