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Natural speech algorithm applied to baseline interview data can predict which patients will respond to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Natural speech analytics has seen some improvements over recent years, and this has opened a window for objective and quantitative diagnosis in psychiatry. Here, we used a machine learning algorithm applied to natural speech to ask whether language properties measured before psilocybin for treatment-resistant can predict for which patients it will be effective and for which it will not.
METHODS:
A baseline autobiographical memory interview was conducted and transcribed. Patients with treatment-resistant depression received 2 doses of psilocybin, 10 mg and 25 mg, 7 days apart. Psychological support was provided before, during and after all dosing sessions. Quantitative speech measures were applied to the interview data from 17 patients and 18 untreated age-matched healthy control subjects. A machine learning algorithm was used to classify between controls and patients and predict treatment response.
RESULTS:
Speech analytics and machine learning successfully differentiated depressed patients from healthy controls and identified treatment responders from non-responders with a significant level of 85% of accuracy (75% precision).
CONCLUSIONS:
Automatic natural language analysis was used to predict effective response to treatment with psilocybin, suggesting that these tools offer a highly cost-effective facility for screening individuals for treatment suitability and sensitivity.
LIMITATIONS:
The sample size was small and replication is required to strengthen inferences on these results.
Carrillo, F., Sigman, M., Slezak, D. F., Ashton, P., Fitzgerald, L., Stroud, J., … & Carhart-Harris, R. L. (2018). Natural speech algorithm applied to baseline interview data can predict which patients will respond to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. Journal of affective disorders230, 84-86. 10.1016/j.jad.2018.01.006
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