People with schizophrenia often struggle with memory problems, including the ability to remember to do things in the future.
A recent study in Neuropsychopharmacology Reports suggests that a non-invasive treatment called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could help improve certain aspects of memory in individuals with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It often involves difficulties with memory, including the ability to remember to do things at specific times or in response to certain events.
In this study, researchers looked at 50 patients with schizophrenia and compared them to 18 healthy individuals. Among the 50 patients, 26 received active rTMS treatment, while 24 received a sham (inactive) version of the treatment. The healthy individuals didn’t receive any treatment.
The researchers focused on two types of memory: event-based prospective memory and time-based prospective memory. Event-based prospective memory involves remembering to do something when a specific event happens, like remembering to give a message to a friend when you see them next.
Time-based prospective memory is about remembering to do something at a particular time, such as attending a future meeting.
At the beginning of the study, both groups of patients with schizophrenia had lower scores in both types of prospective memory compared to the healthy individuals.
However, after receiving rTMS treatment, the patients’ scores in event-based prospective memory significantly improved and became similar to those of the healthy individuals. Unfortunately, the scores for time-based prospective memory did not improve as much.
One of the study’s authors, Dr. Su-Xia Li from Peking University in China, believes that these findings offer a potential treatment option for improving memory in people with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a complex condition, and memory problems are just one aspect of it. However, finding ways to help individuals with schizophrenia improve their memory and cognitive abilities can significantly enhance their daily lives and functioning.
It’s essential to remember that while rTMS shows promise in this study, further research is needed to fully understand its long-term effects and how it can be integrated into the treatment of schizophrenia.
Nonetheless, this study represents a step forward in exploring ways to address the challenges that people with schizophrenia face in their everyday lives.
If you care about mental health, please read studies about how dairy foods may influence depression risk, and B vitamins could help prevent depression and anxiety.
For more information about mental health, please see recent studies that ultra-processed foods may make you feel depressed, and extra-virgin olive oil could reduce depression symptoms.
The research findings can be found in Neuropsychopharmacology Reports.
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