Magnetic fields to alleviate anxietySeptember 13, 2017
Nearly one in seven Germans suffer from an anxiety disorder. Some panic upon boarding an aircraft, others find it impossible to enter a room with a spider on the wall and again others prefer the staircase over the elevator - even to get to the tenth floor - because riding in elevators elevates their heart rate.
What sounds like funny anecdotes is often debilitating for the sufferers. Sometimes their anxiety can affect them to a point that they are unable to follow a normal daily routine. But help is available: "Cognitive behavioural therapy is an excellent treatment option," says Professor Martin J. Herrmann, a psychologist at the Center of Mental Health of the Würzburg University Hospital. This form of therapy deliberately exposes anxiety patients to the situations they feel threatened by - under the individual psychological supervision of an expert.
Brain stimulation improves response
However, current studies have shown that this type of intervention does not benefit all persons in equal measure. This is why Herrmann and researchers from the Department of Clinical Psychology of the University of Würzburg have been looking for ways to improve the patients' response to cognitive behavioural therapy - by using the so-called transcranial magnetic stimulation. In fact, a positive effect was found on the study participants treated with this method.
"We knew from previous studies that a specific region in the frontal lobe of the human brain is important for unlearning anxiety," Martin J. Herrmann explains the work of the Würzburg scientists. He goes on to say that initial studies have shown that magnetically stimulating this brain region can improve the effectiveness of unlearning anxiety responses in the laboratory. In its recently published study, the team investigated whether this also works for treating a fear of heights.
To this end, 39 participants with a pronounced fear of heights were taken to dizzying heights during two sessions - however not in real life but using virtual reality. It does not matter that the environment is not real: "The people feel actual fear also in a virtual reality - although they know that they are not really in a dangerous situation," Herrmann explains.
The scientists stimulated the frontal lobe of some of the anxiety patients for about 20 minutes before entering the virtual world; the other group was only administered a pseudo stimulation. The result: "The findings demonstrate that all participants benefit considerably from the therapy in virtual reality and the positive effects of the intervention are still clearly visible even after three months," Herrmann explains. And what is more: By stimulating the frontal lobe, the therapy response is accelerated.
Next the researchers want to study whether this method is also suitable to treat other forms of anxiety by conducting a further virtual reality therapy study for arachnophobic patients.
The study was performed within the scope of Collaborative Research Center / Transregio 58 "Fear, Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders".
About transcranial magnetic stimulation
During transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a magnetic coil is placed near the head of the person receiving the treatment. The coil produces a rapidly changing magnetic field which sends magnetic pulses through the cranium into the brain. There it triggers an action potential in the neurons and the neuron transmits an impulse. Although the technique has been around for a few decades only, it is routinely used in research and diagnostics.
University of Würzburg
Related Mental Health Articles:
Food insecurity (FI) affects nearly 795 million people worldwide. Although a complex phenomenon encompassing food availability, affordability, utilization, and even the social norms that define acceptable ways to acquire food, FI can affect people's health beyond its impact on nutrition.
When people think about climate change, they probably think first about its effects on the environment, and possibly on their physical health.
The BioScience Talks podcast features discussions of topical issues related to the biological sciences.
Men who see themselves as playboys or as having power over women are more likely to have psychological problems than men who conform less to traditionally masculine norms, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
UCSB researchers study the effectiveness of an innovative program designed to help youth learn about mental health.
Engaging the brain's dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DL-PFC) while doing mental math may be connected with better emotional health, according to Duke researchers.
A new graduate education program at the University of Missouri has received nearly $700,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration in the US Department of Health and Human Services to train psychology doctoral candidates in integrated, primary health care settings, in an effort to improve health care for underserved populations with mental health and physical disorders.
The loss of private health insurance from an employer can lead to poorer mental and physical health as older adults transition to early retirement, according to a study by Georgia State University.
Here's another reason to start saving for that beach house: new research suggests that residents with a view of the water are less stressed.
This study compares information available in a typical electronic health record (EHR) with data from insurance claims, focusing on diagnoses, visits, and hospital care for depression and bipolar disorder.
Related Mental Health Reading:
Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach, 7e
by Margaret Jordan Halter PhD APRN (Author)
Using a practical clinical perspective, Varcarolis' Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: A Clinical Approach, 7th Edition provides a clear understanding of the often-intimidating subject of psychiatric mental health nursing. Clinical chapters follow the nursing process framework and progress from theory to application, preparing you for practice with real-world examples. New to this edition are the latest DSM-5 guidelines along with coverage of trauma, pediatric mental health, and QSEN competencies. From new lead author Dr. Margaret Jordan Halter, this... View Details
No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
by Ron Powers (Author)
"Extraordinary and courageous . . . No doubt if everyone were to read this book, the world would change."---New York Times Book Review
New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.
From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone... View Details
Mental Health: Personalities: Personality Disorders, Mental Disorders & Psychotic Disorders
by Carol Franklin (Author)
At some point in your life you will probably start to think you are losing your mind, or that someone you know is in danger of losing theirs. The truth is that modern life is extremely stressful; there are many demands on your time and never enough hours in the day.
However, being at the end of your tether, worn out and overwhelmed is not the same as having a mental disorder. In fact mental health covers a wide range of illnesses including those which most people are aware of, such as Schizophrenia (which is classed as a psychotic disorder). What you may not be... View Details
All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness
by Sheila Hamilton (Author)
"A boldly beautiful page-turner about loving and losing someone with mental illness. I’ll be recommending this absorbing memoir for years to come." Cheryl Strayed, best-selling author of Wild
Even as a reporter, Sheila Hamilton missed the signs as her husband David’s mental illness unfolded before her. By the time she had pieced together the puzzle, it was too late. Her once brilliant and passionate partner was dead within six weeks of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, leaving his young daughter and wife without so much as a note to explain his actions, a plan to... View Details
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice
by Mary C. Townsend DSN PMHCNS-BC (Author)
Rely on the distinctive voice and dedicated vision of Mary C. Townsend to provide the most clearly written, comprehensive text for psychiatric mental health nursing. Its evidence-based, holistic approach to nursing practice focuses on both biological and behavioral components.
The 8th Edition of this popular text delivers even more of what nursing students need to meet the challenges of health care today. Completely revised and updated throughout, it reflects all of the new knowledge in the field and the practice of mental health nursing today, including DSM-5,... View Details
Mental: Lithium, Love, and Losing My Mind
by Jaime Lowe (Author)
A riveting memoir and a fascinating investigation of the history, uses, and controversies behind lithium, an essential medication for millions of people struggling with bipolar disorder.
It began in Los Angeles in 1993, when Jaime Lowe was just sixteen. She stopped sleeping and eating, and began to hallucinate—demonically cackling Muppets, faces lurking in windows, Michael Jackson delivering messages from the Neverland Underground. Lowe wrote manifestos and math equations in her diary, and drew infographics on her bedroom wall. Eventually, hospitalized and diagnosed as... View Details
Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness
by Pete Earley (Author)
Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written extensively about the criminal justice system. But it was only when his own son-in the throes of a manic episode-broke into a neighbor's house that he learned what happens to mentally ill people who break a law.
This is the Earley family's compelling story, a troubling look at bureaucratic apathy and the countless thousands who suffer confinement instead of care, brutal conditions instead of treatment, in the "revolving doors" between hospital and jail. With mass deinstitutionalization, large numbers of state mental... View Details
Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill
by DJ Jaffe (Author), E. Fuller Torrey MD (Foreword)
This well-researched and highly critical examination of the state of our mental health system by the industry's most relentless critic presents a new and controversial explanation as to why--in spite of spending $147 billion annually--140,000 seriously mentally ill are homeless, 390,000 are incarcerated, and even educated, tenacious, and caring people can't get treatment for their mentally ill loved ones. DJ Jaffe blames the mental health industry and the government for shunning the 10 million adults who are the most seriously mentally ill--mainly those who suffer from schizophrenia and... View Details
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Success: A Q&A Review Applying Critical Thinking to Test Taking
by Cathy Melfi Curtis MSN RN-BC (Author), Audra Baker RN PMHNP APRN ANCC (Author)
2 Books in 1!
Q&A Course Review
Guarantee your mastery of psychiatric mental health nursing knowledge while honing your critical-thinking and test-taking skills.
Over 900 multiple-choice and alternate format questions, organized by specific disorders, make a difficult subject more manageable. Rationales for... View Details
Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing: Concepts of Care in Evidence-Based Practice
by Karyn I. Morgan RN MSN CNS (Author), Mary C. Townsend DSN PMHCNS-BC (Author)
Instant Access: 978-0-8036-6170-7
Access Card: 978-0-8036-6169-1
Learning. Applying. Assessing.
Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, DavisPlus Resources, and Davis Edge work together to create an immersive, multimedia learning experience for students and complete teaching materials for instructors. See how they work together... View Details