[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Auditory fMRI as a reliable diagnostic of schizophrenia?

[I thought some AUDITORY listmembers might be interested... -AJM]

-----------------Press Release--------------------
Pierre Divenyi wrote:
Interesting. However, the composition of the control group may be
disputable. Should not they have compared their schizophrenic sample
with, say, a manic-depressive sample?
Pierre & List-

What I thought was interesting was the use of auditory fMRI as a
diagnostic tool for a mental disorder.  Whether or not the study turns
out to be correct (or eventually useful) is another matter entirely.

In regard to your comment, I don't know that many psychiatrists are
struggling to make a differential diagnosis between schizophrenia and
bipolar disorder (manic-depression), so I don't quite understand the
utility of having a study where your control group is as poorly defined
as the test group.

Perhaps you mean that in addition to what they did (test group vs.
control group), you would also like to see the comparison with other
mental disorders (i.e. test group vs. normal control group *and* test
group vs. abnormal control group)?

The way I understand it, the difficulty with making the initial
schizophrenic diagnosis lies in the fact that the symptoms overlap with
a number of other disorders.  The psychiatrist needs to rule out a
number of other possibilities before the diagnosis can be made.  It is
possible for the patient to be ill for some time before they meet the
APA's behavioral criteria for being defined as schizophrenic.

It seems to me that it would be quite useful to have an objective
diagnostic, so that doctors could begin managing the condition in its
earlier stages, rather than having to wait for a full blown psychotic
episode before a proper diagnosis can be made.

If your interested, here's the DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia:

Note item C -- "Duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist
for at least 6 months."

I think that if I was suffering from schizophrenia, I might want to
begin managing the condition earlier, since when it goes untreated, the
effects can be much more devastating...

Tony Miller
Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114
ajmiller@mit.edu | (617) 510-3629 | http://tonymiller.info