What is it about?

This study looked into whether certain medications could be linked to communication problems and affect the ability to use speech characteristics to identify mental health disorders like depression. We combined data from two drug side effect databases - one from summary of product characteristics and the other from reports of suspected side effects. We discovered 382 drugs that might be associated with language or speech issues. Most connections were already known, 91 were new discoveries.

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Why is it important?

Affective and psychotic disorders are known to have unique ways of communication, such as reduced emotional expression and flat tone of voice. Researchers have been using this understanding to assess these disorders and are now exploring automated voice and content analysis to gain deeper insights. They believe that using advanced machine learning, smartphone data, and other big data sources can help find new markers for these disorders, leading to more accurate diagnoses, continuous symptom evaluation, and personalized treatment options. However, communication is a complex process, and its link to specific disorders is not straightforward. There are many factors that can influence communication, and ethical considerations also play a role in this research. This means that while the potential benefits of using technology to analyze communication in mental health disorders are promising, it's essential to approach this field with caution and careful consideration of various factors that could affect the results. This work employs a comprehensive approach to identify potential connections between medications and communication issues, both known and previously unknown. The list of drugs potentially associated with communication issues can be useful to identify suspect adverse drug reactions in clinical practice. Further, it can help create useful strategies to use speech markers for diagnosing mental health conditions, taking into account potential confounders.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Identifying Medications Underlying Communication Atypicalities in Psychotic and Affective Disorders: A Pharmacovigilance Study Within the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, July 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2023_jslhr-22-00739.
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