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Is An Invasive Technology Used To Treat Psychological Disorders

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Using Stimulants To Treat Adhd

Stanford scientists seek to map origins of mental illness, develop noninvasive treatment

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is frequently treated with biomedical therapy, usually along with cognitive behavioural therapy . The most commonly prescribed drugs for ADHD are psychostimulants, including Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. Short-acting forms of the drugs are taken as pills and last between four and 12 hours, but some of the drugs are also available in long-acting forms that can be worn on the hip and last up to 12 hours. The patch is placed on the child early in the morning and worn all day.

Stimulants improve the major symptoms of ADHD, including inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, often dramatically, in about 75% of the children who take them . But the effects of the drugs wear off quickly. Additionally, the best drug and best dosage varies from child to child, so it may take some time to find the correct combination.

It may seem surprising to you that a disorder that involves hyperactivity is treated with a psychostimulant, a drug that normally increases activity. The answer lies in the dosage. When large doses of stimulants are taken, they increase activity, but in smaller doses the same stimulants improve attention and decrease motor activity .

Effectiveness Of Psychological Therapy

Thousands of studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of psychotherapy, and by and large they find evidence that it works. Some outcome studies compare a group that gets treatment with another group that gets no treatment. For instance, Ruwaard, Broeksteeg, Schrieken, Emmelkamp, and Lange found that patients who interacted with a therapist over a website showed more reduction in symptoms of panic disorder than did a similar group of patients who were on a waiting list but did not get therapy. Although studies such as this one control for the possibility of natural improvement , they do not control for either nonspecific treatment effects or for placebo effects. The people in the treatment group might have improved simply by being in the therapy , or they may have improved because they expected the treatment to help them .

Studies that use a control group that gets no treatment or a group that gets only a placebo are informative, but they also raise ethical questions. If the researchers believe that their treatment is going to work, why would they deprive some of their participants, who are in need of help, of the possibility for improvement by putting them in a control group?

What Alternative Treatments Are Used For Depression

Alternative treatments can sometimes provide relief that traditional Western medicine cannot. While some alternative therapies have become accepted as part of modern health care practice, others still have not been proven safe or effective.

Whether or not they are scientifically proven, alternative therapies, by providing forms of relaxation and relief from stress, may have a place in healing and general health and well-being. Examples of alternative therapies include acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, and massage.

In general, alternative therapies by themselves are reasonable to use for mild but not more severe forms of clinical depression.

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Combination Approaches To Therapy

To this point we have considered the different approaches to psychotherapy under the assumption that a therapist will use only one approach with a given patient. But this is not the case the most commonly practised approach to therapy is an eclectic therapy, an approach to treatment in which the therapist uses whichever techniques seem most useful and relevant for a given patient. For bipolar disorder, for instance, the therapist may use both psychological skills training to help the patient cope with the severe highs and lows, but may also suggest that the patient consider biomedical drug therapies . Treatment for major depressive disorder usually involves antidepressant drugs as well as CBT to help the patient deal with particular problems .

As we have seen in Chapter 13, Defining Psychological Disorders, one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders is borderline personality disorder . Consider this description, typical of the type of borderline patient who arrives at a therapists office:

When she was 18, Bethany rented a motel room where she took an overdose of sleeping pills. Her suicide attempt was not successful, but the authorities required that she seek psychological help.

The first sessions of the therapy will likely be based primarily on creating trust. Person-centred approaches will be used in which the therapist attempts to create a therapeutic alliance conducive to a frank and open exchange of information.

Exercise And Critical Thinking

Using Technology for Mental Health Treatments
  • Imagine the impact of a natural disaster like the 2013 floods in Calgary would have on the population of that city and cities like it. How would you expect such an event to affect the prevalence of psychological disorders in the community? What recommendations would you make in terms of setting up community support centres to help the people in the city?
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    What Is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation And How Can Tms Therapy In Nyc Help Patients With Depression

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive technology used to treat mental health and mood disorders. Its best known for its ability to relieve depressive symptoms in patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. TMS works by using gentle magnetic pulses to activate certain regions of the brain associated with mood. Throughout a course of TMS therapy, patients receive 1 treatment a day for approximately 20 minutes, 5 days a week, for four to six weeks. Patients then go through a taper period for the next three to five weeks. The total time for a course of TMS treatment is approximately nine weeks.

    TMS received approval from the FDA to treat treatment-resistant depression in 2008. It offers a safe and effective alternative treatment for depression for patients who do not respond to antidepressant medications and/or psychotherapy.

    How Ultrasound Could Be Used To Treat Psychiatric Disorders

    Imagine passing an exam, and thinking your success was down to the socks you wore or the number of biscuits youd eaten, rather than the hours of study youd put in.

    This is issue of credit assignment, where a person or animal attributes the wrong outcome to an event, exists in a variety of psychiatric disorders, like addiction or OCD where people still believe that drug consumption on engaging in certain rituals will lead to positive outcomes.

    Now a new study in macaque monkeys has shed light on which parts of the brain support credit assignment processes and, for the first time, how low-intensity transcranial ultrasound stimulation can modulate both brain activity and behaviours related to these credit assignment processes.

    While currently developed in an animal model, this line of research and the use of TUS could one day be applied to clinical research to tackle psychiatric conditions where maladaptive decisions are observed.

    Led by the University of Plymouth and published in the journal Science Advances, the study shows that credit assignment-related activity in the lateral prefrontal area of the brain, which supports adaptive behaviours, can be safely and quickly disrupted with TUS.

    The study also showed that this process remained intact if another brain region was stimulated showing for the first time how task-related brain modulation is specific to stimulation of areas that mediate a certain cognitive process.

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    Neurotechnology Practices And Techniques

    Neurotechnology uses different techniques to record brain activity and stimulate parts of the brain at will. Non-invasive techniques are those that allow action from the outside, while invasive techniques require the implantation of electrodes through surgery.

    Among those dedicated to recording brain activity are:

    • Electroencephalogram is the oldest non-invasive technique and records the electrical activity of the brain using electrodes placed on the scalp.
    • Functional magnetic resonance imaging measures brain activity by detecting changes in brain blood flow using high resolution. It is a more costly process.
    • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy uses hand-held sensors placed on the scalp and it has a lower resolution than fMRI.
    • Implantation of microneedles is an invasive technique that involves inserting tiny electrodes into the cerebral cortex. The signals are very clear, but reach a very limited area.

    In terms of techniques to stimulate the brain, these are the most commonly used:

    Cognitive technologies

    Neurotechnology is related to cognitive technologies. According to consulting firm Deloitte, these are technologies derived from artificial intelligence that allow tasks to be performed that previously could only be done by humans. Some examples are artificial vision, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing or robotic process automation, among others.

    Exercises And Critical Thinking

    Childrens National uses cutting-edge technology to perform first non-invasive brain tumor surgery
  • Imagine that your friend has been feeling depressed for several months but refuses to consider therapy as an option. What might you tell her that might help her feel more comfortable about seeking treatment?
  • Imagine that you have developed a debilitating fear of bees after recently being attacked by a swarm of them. What type of therapy do you think would be best for your disorder?
  • Imagine that your friend has a serious drug abuse problem. Based on what youve learned in this section, what treatment options would you explore in your attempt to provide him with the best help available? Which combination of therapies might work best?
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    What Does Mental Health Care Look Like Now

    Treatment for mental illness has come a long way throughout history. With the first approaches to treatment resembling torture as well as the earlier incredulity of the existence of mental illness, its easy to feel as though there might not be a good treatment method mental health care.

    However, our modern look at mental illness has improved tremendously. Former activists like Dorothea Dix and current mental health awareness movements on social media have changed the conversation. Now, treatments handle mental illness knowledgeably, effectively, and morally.

    The programs offered at Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital provide up-to-date treatment methods to patients in the Louisiana and Southern Mississippi regions. Most importantly, our dedicated staff will collaborate with patients and their families to create a collective approach to healing.

    A Comprehensive Rehabilitation Approach Combining Action Observation Motor Imagery And Bci Neurofeedback

    The authors believe that the feasibility and effectiveness of a BCI-based neurofeedback paradigm can be further enhanced by combining BCI-based neurofeedback with two additional training paradigms: action observation and motor imagery. Action observation training is based on the concept of human mirror neuron system . Neurons in the human MNS fire when an individual acts and when he observes the same action performed by another person 7073. These neurons âmirrorâ the behavior, as if the observer is himself acting. The human MNS plays a critical role for motor learning, action imitation, action understanding, speech and social interaction 71,74. In addition to the classic human MNS including inferior parietal lobule, ventral premotor cortex, and the caudal part of inferior frontal gyrus 75,76, multiple human and animal studies have also shown that motor cortex demonstrates congruent activities during both action observation and action execution 75,7779. Just like action observation, motor imagery, or imagined movement of a body part, can also activate multiple sensory and motor cortical areas. Motor imagery is believed to be a covert stage of action execution that draw upon cortical areas that are typically involved in motor planning and execution, such as the supplemental motor area, premotor cortex, and the primary motor cortex 80,81.

  • Observed: Participants watched a video of the movements, while they remained resting.

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    The Research On Digital Treatment

    Digital treatment has been the focus of an impressive amount of research given that this is a young field. Many of the website-based interventions have been tested in randomised controlled trials and their findings have been the focus of numerous systematic reviews . Surprisingly, app-based interventions have barely been studied . Here is a brief summary of the main findings.

    The evaluation of digital interventions poses intriguing challenges . New interventions appear almost weekly, particularly app-based ones. Do all of them need to be evaluated or can one generalise from similar interventions? A related problem stems from the fact that digital interventions are easy to tweak. This raises the matter of at what point does a tweak result in what is essentially a new intervention that requires its own evaluation? The place of the conventional, somewhat ponderous, randomised controlled trial is a particular concern in this fluid and fast-moving field. In the early stages of developing, testing and refining a digital intervention a variety of research designs may be of relevance , but once an intervention has been reasonably well defined RCTs are likely to be needed to establish its utility.

    What Is Virtual Reality Therapy The Future Of Psychology

    Tech and Mental Health II: Treatment
    • 14-02-2022

    Imagine treating soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder in a combat situation rather than an office.

    In 2012, the U.S. Naval Medical Center in San Diego, California, did just that albeit virtually .

    Soldiers were immersed in digital simulations of combat the experience brought back to life through 3D images, sounds, vibrations, and even smells.

    Virtual reality has proven to be a powerful tool to help people overcome PTSD and many other mental health issues including phobias, anxiety, and depression. This article explores the science behind the therapy, the treatments, and some of the software available.

    Before you continue, we thought you might like to . These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

    This article contains:

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    Technology Takes On Mental Illness

    In times like these, technology seems to be helping us maintain our wellbeing, despite social isolation. Beyond personal use, how is it being applied to improve the state of mental health today?

    According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability.

    In these coronavirus-affected times, mental health is likely to be affected, putting extra strain on already-under-pressure healthcare services. However, technology-assisted treatment is being developed that can maintain peoples wellbeing, or at least help.

    Many clinical specialities benefit from technology-assisted treatments, advanced diagnostics and therapies psychiatry the study and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance and abnormal behaviour does not.

    Diagnosis of mental disorders and diseases is based on categorised symptoms laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, formulated by mental health professionals. This is essentially a guide to fitting symptoms into boxes, yet they can overlap.

    This could be because the human brain has almost 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections and remains one of the greatest challenges in medicine.

    Image credit: E& T

    Activism For Mental Health

    Today, the stigma surrounding mental illness has lessened with the new knowledge we have on the subject. This has partly stemmed from the mental health advocates who saw the benefits of offering hospitalization for mentally ill patients.

    Dorothea Dix was a revolutionary leader in the mental health movement that started during the 19th and 20th centuries. Although she based herself in the United States, Dix traveled around the world to deliver her message. She even managed to convince Pope Pius IX to examine the unjust ways people with mental illnesses were treated.

    Dix believed in hospitalizing people with mental illnesses who needed treatment. However, she demanded better conditions in these institutions. Additionally, Dix worked to advocate for womens rights, which directly helped to decrease the cases of hysteria diagnosed as we moved to the 20th century and beyond.

    Dixs work didnt end there. It continued throughout and past her lifetimeas more institutions changed their treatment approaches to ensure that a patients chance of success after discharge would increase.

    History does not necessarily highlight one singular, effective form of treatment for people with mental illnesses. Yet,it does illustrate how our ideas on mental health have evolved alongside our approaches for it.

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    How Does It Work A Look At The Psychology Behind It

    VR works because the digitally created sensory feedback from the artificial world replaces our everyday experiences.

    To feel immersive and present, systems typically include two visual displays one for each eye that differ slightly, as they do when we view any object in the non-digital world.

    For example, look at your finger with one eye closed, then swap with the other eye. You will notice a slight shift in the image.

    Our brain takes inputs from both eyes to create a 3D mental representation. The virtual world is made more realistic by adding additional sensory information: auditory stimuli enter through both ears to create a 3D spatial surround sound, and haptic feedback creates the sensation of physical contact with the virtual world .

    Perhaps the most fascinating part of VR is the ability of the wearer to interact with the environment. By moving the head, pointing at or grabbing something, or even redirecting our gaze, we can change the environment in front of us.

    The degree of immersion reflects the amount of physical stimulation that we experience through our senses and the systems sensitivity to receiving information about how we move.

    Therefore, the sense of reality depends on the quality and quantity of the sensory experience and our ability to interact with the environment.

    But why does it feel so real?

    VR feels real because to the brain, it is.

    Literature Screening And Data Extraction

    The Cure – Treating Bipolar Disorder With Virtual Reality

    The online review platform Covidence was used, which aims to facilitate screening and data extraction with multiple reviewers. Titles, abstracts and full texts were screened by two independent reviewers in each phase. Conflicts were resolved through discussion. A data extraction template was designed to extract the characteristics of each included study. Reviews were categorized regarding:

    Focus: prevention, treatment, or relapse prevention.

    Target population, or the intended audience of the reviewed interventions: general population, at-risk population, somatic disorders, pain or neurological disorders, substance use, mental illness, or other.

    Age: children and young adults, adults, or elderly.

    Setting: home, outpatient, or residential.

    Integration with conventional care: online, blended.

    The included reviews were also labeled according to the intervention and implemented technology through inductive qualitative analysis with the goal of creating a taxonomy. Three authors independently developed an intervention and technology taxonomy based on 50 included reviews. These categorizations were subsequently compared, and the final matrix combining interventions and technologies was developed through discussion. All reviews were subsequently labeled according to these taxonomies. A review could load on multiple interventions and technologies simultaneously. After data extraction was complete, each entry was checked for errors in extraction by the first author.

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