Thursday, May 18, 2017
Study reveals for first time that talking therapy changes the brain's wiring - NEUROSCIENCE
A new study from King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has shown for the first time that cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) strengthens specific connections in the brains of people with psychosis, and that these stronger connections are associated with long-term reduction in symptoms and recovery eight years later.
CBT - a specific type of talking therapy - involves people changing the way they think about and respond to their thoughts and experiences. For individuals experiencing psychotic symptoms, common in schizophrenia and a number of other psychiatric disorders, the therapy involves learning to think differently about unusual experiences, such as distressing beliefs that others are out to get them. CBT also involves developing strategies to reduce distress and improve well-being.
The findings, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, follow the same researchers’ previous work which showed that people with psychosis who received CBT displayed strengthened connections between key regions of the brain involved in processing social threat accurately.
The new results show for the first time that these changes continue to have an impact years later on people’s long-term recovery.