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This is what PTSD sounds like, according to a new study

(Reuters Health) – Voice analysis software can help detect post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by speech, a study suggests. Doctors have long understood that people with mental disorders can speak differently than individuals who do not have mental problems, researchers note in depression and anxiety. While some previous studies point to the potential for clear speech patterns among people with PTSD, it has been unclear whether depression that often follows PTSD can explain the unique voice characteristics. In the current study, the voice analysis software discovered which veterans had PTSD and who did not have 89 percent accuracy. "Those with PTSD talked slower (slower heavy movement), were more monotonous with fewer vocal destruction, were less animated and energetic (lifeless) in their speech and had longer hesitation and a narrower tone," says lead study author Dr. Charles Marmar , Chair of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine in New York. "Our results indicate that speech-based properties can be used to diagnose this disease, and with further refinement and validation, may be employed in the clinic in the near future," Marmar said via email. Marble teams used an artificial intelligence program that "learns" how to classify individuals based on examples of speech. First, researchers recorded hours of long interviews based on questions often asked by clinics to diagnose PTSD. In summary, the 53 Iraq and Afghanistan interviewed veterans with PTSD in connection with their service and 78 veterans without the disease. Then they fed the voice analysis software recordings developed by…

(Reuters Health) – Voice analysis software can help detect post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans by speech, a study suggests.

Doctors have long understood that people with mental disorders can speak differently than individuals who do not have mental problems, researchers note in depression and anxiety. While some previous studies point to the potential for clear speech patterns among people with PTSD, it has been unclear whether depression that often follows PTSD can explain the unique voice characteristics.

In the current study, the voice analysis software discovered which veterans had PTSD and who did not have 89 percent accuracy.


“Those with PTSD talked slower (slower heavy movement), were more monotonous with fewer vocal destruction, were less animated and energetic (lifeless) in their speech and had longer hesitation and a narrower tone,” says lead study author Dr. Charles Marmar , Chair of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine in New York.

“Our results indicate that speech-based properties can be used to diagnose this disease, and with further refinement and validation, may be employed in the clinic in the near future,” Marmar said via email.

Marble teams used an artificial intelligence program that “learns” how to classify individuals based on examples of speech.

First, researchers recorded hours of long interviews based on questions often asked by clinics to diagnose PTSD. In summary, the 53 Iraq and Afghanistan interviewed veterans with PTSD in connection with their service and 78 veterans without the disease.

Then they fed the voice analysis software recordings developed by the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International, designers of the “Siri” App, to provide a total of 40,526 speech-based features taken in short talk.

The software linked pattern for specific voice functions with PTSD, including less clear speech and a lifeless metal tone, both of which had long been reported anecdotally as helpful in diagnosis.

While the study did not investigate the disease mechanisms behind PTSD, the theory is that traumatic events alter brain circuits that treat emotions and muscle tones that affect a person’s voice, the study group writes.

The study was small and it was not designed to prove whether or how PTSD can directly cause vowel pattern changes. It is also possible that results may be different for people who experienced trauma that are not related to military service, such as sexual abuse or natural disasters.

Other warning signs about PTSD may also be easier for family members to discover, Dr. Ronald Pies of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.

“I think more general observable indicators of trauma are more relevant in such cases,” Pies, who was not involved in the study, said via email. “Noting that a family member is exposed to a recent trauma seems to be unusually annoying, aggressive, monitoring or reporting nightmares, reflux of trauma or appearing socially affected or depressed … would justify a clinical assessment.” [1

9659002] But it may not be too far in the future that a tool such as the one tested in the study could be a way of identifying people who need to be evaluated for PTSD, says the American army Capt. Jeffrey Osgood from the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“In a perfect world, I see this technology being used as an early warning tool for PTSD.” Osgood, who was not involved in the study, said via email.

It is possible that a version of the software tested in the study would be available, perhaps as a smartphone app, to analyze a person’s speech during and after very stressful or traumatic experiences and to flag potential problems to patients or clinics, says Osgood. [19659002] “This can lead to a more accurate screening and early intervention,” Osgood said. “But more studies are needed before clinics can use this tool to help diagnose.”

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