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Cognitive training can 'alter brain's biochemistry'

Cognitive training can 'alter brain's biochemistry'
10th February 2009

New research supports the ability to train the brain to change its biochemistry, giving a great insight into the workings of the brain and providing hope for those with mental health problems receiving home care.

Scientists based at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that the number of dopamine receptors in the brain can change in response to said training.

Researchers highlighted dopamine's role in memory, with disruptions to the system producing forgetfulness and confusion, meaning the discovery could play a part in understanding - and perhaps curing - ailments such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and ADHD.

Professor Torkel Klingberg, who authored the study, said more investigations needed to be directed at the effects of other environmental factors before the full extent of this training could be assessed.

He continued: "Maybe we'll be able to find new, more effective treatments that combine medication and cognitive training, in which case we're in extremely interesting territory."

The Karolinska Institutet is one of the largest medical research universities in Europe and is Sweden's largest centre for training in these fields.

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