Brain Training

A ‘Brain Training’ App to Reduce Symptoms of OCD

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At the University of Cambridge, ‘brain training’ app was developed in order to help people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The app manages the symptoms of patients which include the fear of contamination and washes their hands excessively.

Professors at the Department of Psychiatry – Barbara Sahakian and Baland Jalal – explained effects and improvement in the patient suffering from OCD within one-week training by the app. The most common type of OCD is affecting about 46% of OCD patients. Excessive hand washing also can be hurtful for the patients as they can use cleaning bleach, spirits, and other harmful cleansers to clean hands. Also, this behavior can have numerous effects on mental health, lives, and their relationships with other members of the family.

The present treatments techniques are not much effective to treat OCD completely as near about 40% of the patients stopped to show improvement in them. Thus, the researchers at the University of Cambridge started the study and developed the app.

Ninety-three people participated in the study which scored high in the ‘Padua Inventory Contamination Fear Subscale’. These participants have grouped in the 3 ways: first group viewed videos of washing hands on their mobile devices; second group viewed same videos by touching fake contamination surfaces; third group viewed themselves doing normal hand motions on their devices. Within one week and by watching these videos four-times in a day, these participants showed impressive results.

On an average, the first groups witnessed improvement by 21% in the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) scores. The YBOCS score is mostly used as clinical valuations technique for measuring the seriousness of OCD.

This app is not available publically to use as it requires further research to show more effective results.

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