An app developed and tested by researchers at the University of Cambridge may improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, helping them in their daily lives at work and living independently.
A team of researchers, led by Professor Barbara Sahakian from the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge have developed ‘Wizard’ – an iPad game aimed at improving an individual’s episodic memory, the type of memory required when you have to remember where you parked your car or left your keys for example.
The game was the result of a nine-month collaboration between psychologists, neuroscientists, a professional game-developer and people with schizophrenia and was intended to be fun, attention-grabbing, motivating and easy to understand, whilst at the same time improving the player’s episodic memory.
Whilst the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are treated by current medications, patients can be left with debilitating cognitive impairments, and to date there is no licensed pharma treatment to improve cognitive functions for people with schizophrenia.
However, there is increasing evidence that computer-assisted training and rehabilitation can help people with schizophrenia overcome some of their symptoms, with better outcomes in daily functioning and their lives.