Did you know nearly sixty million people visit their physicians for mental health disorders? Despite the prevalence of these conditions, there’s still a lot we don’t know about their treatment.
All too often, we address the symptoms instead of the root cause. Neuroscience, which is the study of how the brain and nervous system operate, might hold the key.
Studying how the brain functions, develops, and degenerates provides valuable insights into our mental health. In this article, we’ll explore three ways applied neuroscience is changing treatment.
Table of Contents
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety
Neuroscience has taught us that our thoughts arise in the higher brain section. This is known as the cortex. This is different from the body-type reactions that form in the middle limbic system.
The limbic system, which contains the amygdala, creates a threat system that can cause anxiety for many people. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps target the thoughts that start in the cortex which can spread to the other systems.
This type of therapy gets to the root cause of anxiety and allows the person to develop a safe space to process distress.
2. Neurofeedback to Combat Eating Disorders
Neuroscience has revealed a lot about the brain activities of people with eating disorders. The tendency for people with eating disorders to want to be perfect reveals itself as a tug-of-war between the two frontal lobes.
This dysregulated brain activity can produce huge feelings of anxiety in people who struggle with their eating. So what’s the solution? Experts at avalonhills.org have found that neurofeedback (aka EEG biofeedback) is a promising route.
This non-invasive procedure uses a database of EEG activity to capitalize on the neuroplasticity of the brain. The principles state that existing behaviors can be changed through experience.
In this case, the experience involves brain exercises. These will allow people with eating disorders to master their attention and regulate their emotions.
3. Neurocognition to Treat Schizophrenia
In the past, treatments surrounding schizophrenia tended to rely on preventative measures. Antipsychotic drugs were used to address some of the symptoms.
Instead of relying on psychiatric symptoms to identify and treat this disease, researchers are now expanding their treatment options to include neurocognition.
This area of neuroscience would allow research to identify schizophrenia far earlier. The early scholarship also suggests that it may hold the key to improving mental wellness and quality of life for people with the condition.
Appreciate Learning About Applied Neuroscience? Keep Exploring
We hope this article helped you learn more about how applied neuroscience is changing mental health treatment. Our brain’s structure is infinitely complex.
There is still much to learn by studying the structure and function of it. As these three examples reveal, they can greatly improve the way we approach mental health treatment.
Not only does it cause better mental health care, but also improved mental wellness. Want to learn more about how science is changing the world? Keep on scrolling through our website to find plenty of related topics out there.
Last Updated on August 3, 2023