iPad app is a real help for schizophrenia
A brain-training iPad game has been developed to help people with schizophrenia.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge said slow progress is being made towards developing a drug treatment and the game, called Wizard, can help where drugs have so far failed.
The game has been found to improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, helping them in their daily lives at work and to live independently.
Episodic memory - the type of memory required to remember where you parked your car or left your keys - is one of the facets of cognitive functioning to be affected in patients with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is estimated to cost £13.1bn-a-year in the UK, so even small improvements in cognitive functions could substantially reduce costs by helping patients live more independently, as well as improve their well-being and health.
The game was the result of a nine-month collaboration between psychologists, neuroscientists, a professional game-developer and patients with schizophrenia.
Professor Peter Jones, from the university's department of psychiatry, said: "These are promising results and suggest that there may be the potential to not only improve a patient's episodic memory, but also their functioning in daily living.
"We hope that, used in conjunction with medication and current psychological therapies, this could help people with schizophrenia minimise the impact of their illness on everyday life."