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Can VR help treat schizophrenia? Researchers launch trial with more than 400 patients.

Alex Perry
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A major clinical trial for mental health treatment just kicked off in the UK — and it involves virtual reality. 

Organized by VR therapy outfit gameChange, the government-funded program seeks to find out if VR can help people affected by schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.

The gameChange trial began on July 1 in the UK. It will last 18 months and puts patients into VR recreations of real-world situations they might find difficult, like getting on a bus or walking down the street. 

“The gameChange VR therapy is for people with conditions such as schizophrenia whose fears have caused them to withdraw to such an extent that everyday tasks – such as getting on a bus, doing the shopping, speaking to other people – are a challenge," Daniel Freeman, gameChange lead researcher, said in a press release. "It aims to help patients re-engage with the world and go into everyday situations feeling more confident, calm and in control." Read more...

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