Avatar therapy rescuing patients with schizophrenia

Patients suffering from bouts of schizophrenia who do not respond to medication are now helped through avatars developed by a team of researchers. People with schizophrenia learned to control hallucinatory voices with the aid of a computer program that used avatar of their imagined persecutor. This study conducted and led by psychiatrist emeritus Professor Julian Leff at University College London said that many of the patients did learned to stand up to their voices and told them to go away. The research study carried on was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February.

Using the customized computer software, the patients created avatars that match the voices that they are hearing and after six therapy sessions, most of the patients said their voice had improved and three of the patients said that they had stopped hearing the voices entirely. The Wellcome Trust which is the world’s second largest biomedical charity said that it is giving the scientists at University College London and King’s College London about 1.3 million pounds ($2 million) to test the avatar therapy in more patients.


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