Speech analysis software predicted psychosis in at-risk patients with up to 83 percent accuracy

January 22, 2018, The Mount Sinai Hospital

Computer-based analyses of speech transcripts obtained from interviews with at-risk youths were able to predict which youths would later develop psy-chosis within two years, with an accuracy of up to 83 percent. In two independent cohorts of young people at risk for psychosis, a disturbance in the flow of meaning when speaking, other-wise known as being tangential or going off track, predicted who would later develop psychosis.

This same computer-based language classifier was able to predict onset in a second at-risk cohort with 79 percent accuracy, and could discriminate from individuals with psy-chosis from healthy individuals with an accuracy of 72 percent.

Taken together, the results from this study suggest that this technology has the potential to im-prove prediction of psychosis and other disorders.

The results of the study will be published online in World Psychiatry on January 22.

Disorganized thinking, a symptom of psychosis, is regularly assessed using interview-based clinical ratings of speech. It is characterized by tangential language, looseness of associations, and reduced complexity of speech. While it can be severe enough to impair effective communi-cation, language disturbance is more typically a subtle but persistent feature that can be present prior to the onset of psychosis in at risk.

This study examined transcripts from interviews with at-risk young people in two different co-horts—one in New York City with 34 participants and one in Los Angeles with 59 participants—for whom psychosis onset within the next two years was known. The transcripts were analyzed by computer using automated methods to determine differences in speech between those who developed psychosis and those who did not.

"The results of this study are exciting because this technology has the potential to improve pre-diction of psychosis and ultimately help us prevent psychosis by helping researchers develop re-mediation and training strategies that target the cognitive deficits that may underlie language dis-turbance," said the study's first author, Cheryl Corcoran, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Program Leader in Psychosis Risk, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

"More broadly, language and behavior are the primary sources of data for psychiatrists to diag-nose and treat mental disorders," said Dr. Corcoran. "There are now novel computerized methods to characterize complex behaviors such as . Speech is easy to collect and inexpensive to analyze using computer-based analysis. This technology could be applied across psychiatry, and plausibly in other fields of medicine."

Explore further: Who will develop psychosis? Automated speech analysis may have the answer

Related Stories

Who will develop psychosis? Automated speech analysis may have the answer

August 26, 2015
An automated speech analysis program correctly differentiated between at-risk young people who developed psychosis over a two-and-a-half year period and those who did not. In a proof-of-principle study, researchers at Columbia ...

Autism traits increase thoughts of suicide in people with psychosis

December 14, 2017
People with autism traits who have psychosis are at a greater risk of depression and thoughts of suicide, new research has found.

Dose-dependent link between cannabis use, psychosis relapse

September 29, 2016
(HealthDay)—Cannabis use may raise the risk of psychosis relapse, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Calculator can predict psychosis risk

July 1, 2016
An individual's risk for developing psychosis can be measured as accurately as a prognosis for heart disease and cancer, according to a new Yale-led study published July 1 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Nutrition may play a key role in early psychosis treatment

November 30, 2017
Early psychosis is associated with nutritional deficiencies, new research from Australia has found, potentially presenting new avenues for improving health among the millions of people affected worldwide.

Marijuana may produce psychotic-like effects in high-risk individuals

September 13, 2017
Marijuana may bring on temporary paranoia and other psychosis-related effects in individuals at high risk of developing a psychotic disorder, finds a preliminary study from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center ...

Recommended for you

People are more honest when using a foreign tongue, research finds

August 17, 2018
New UChicago-led research suggests that someone who speaks in a foreign language is probably more credible than the average native speaker.

FDA approves brain stimulation device for OCD

August 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—A brain stimulation device to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has received approval for marketing Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

16 going on 66: Will you be the same person 50 years from now?

August 17, 2018
How much do you change between high school and retirement? The answer depends on whether you're comparing yourself to others or to your younger self.

Research eyes role of stress in mental illnesses

August 17, 2018
We all face stress in our lives. Even researchers seeking to understand why some people shrug it off while others face battles against disorders like depression or PTSD.

It's okay when you're not okay: Study re-evaluates resilience in adults

August 16, 2018
Adversity is part of life: Loved ones die. Soldiers deploy to war. Patients receive terminal diagnoses.

Men and women show surprising differences in seeing motion

August 16, 2018
Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on August 16 have found an unexpected difference between men and women. On average, their studies show, men pick up on visual motion significantly faster than women do.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.