Computer Algoirthms Could Aid Schizophrenia Diagnoses

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Computer algorithms, which are most often used in problem solving, may also be useful for medical diagnostics in psychiatry, especially with respect to schizophrenia.

Pawan Kumar Singh, PhD, and Ram Sarkar, PhD, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at Jadavpur University, in West Bengal, India, say that instead of a psychiatric examination that is the standard for diagnosis of schizophrenia, a computer program that can identify the onset of different symptoms could lead to earlier treatment of the condition.

Artificial intelligence computer programs that solve problems by bringing to bear a body of knowledge about specific tasks are known as knowledge-based or expert systems (ES). An ES comprises two main components: a knowledge base containing facts from a particular field and a reasoning, or inference, engine that uses logical relations to process inputs by working with the information in the knowledge base.

Initial studies involving the program helped process reported and identified symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, compulsions, poverty of speech, catatonia, and inability to cope with minor problems, the researchers reported in the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications.

However, the researchers caution an algorithm would not replace the opinion of a clinicians when it comes to a diagnosis.

Computer Algoirthms Could Aid Schizophrenia Diagnoses
Initial studies involving the program helped process reported and identified symptoms, such as delusions, hallucinations, and compulsions.

The opinion of a qualified professional is unlikely to be replaced by a computer algorithm for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, additional medical evidence based on such an algorithm might be useful in early diagnosis, according to work published in the International Journal of Intelligent Systems Technologies and Applications.

Pawan Kumar Singh and Ram Sarkar of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, at Jadavpur University, in West Bengal, India, explain how expert systems, usually reserved for problem solving, might also be useful in medical diagnostics, particularly in psychiatry. They explain how schizophrenia is such a complex and debilitating mental disorder with a wide spectrum of symptoms, reflecting cognitive, emotional, perceptual disturbances as well as problems with motor processes.

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