Suffering from hallucinations will also be halved by improved early psychosis detection system: Study – fitness


Doctors have developed a new data mining method to detect many young people with emerging psychosis.

The new method, based on advanced data mining to pick out up early risk signs from schools, hospitals, and general doctors, will be presented at the ECNP virtual congress and is in press with a peer-reviewed publication.

Psychosis is a condition that causes you to lose touch with reality, causing you to be afflicted by hallucinations or delusions. There are a selection of conceivable causes, including migration and social stress, trauma, substance abuse, etc. It represents a remarkable care burden, affecting approximately 20 million people and costing Europe around EUR94 billion once a year (2011 estimate).

Clinical experience has shown that the easiest way to administer it is to stop it developing. Over the past 25 years, doctors have developed ways of detecting young people at risk of developing psychosis and predicting which young people might go on to develop the disorder, and so have been in a position to take steps to lower risk.

Then again, the way clinicians were detecting young people used to be not systematic and may have missed many at-risk people. Now doctors in the United Kingdom have developed new data mining methods that can potentially detect most of the people who are at risk of developing psychosis. This, in turn, would allow them to offer them preventive psychological interventions that can halve their risk of developing full-blown psychosis.

“Prevention is the most promising way of making improvements to the mental health of young people. This generation’s mental health is especially under stress, particularly facing the ongoing COVID-19 worry, and we wish to intervene urgently. The future for those at risk of psychosis is to intervene before the disorders strike,” Research leader Professor Paolo Fusar-Poli, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, said.

“We have developed a data mining method to search medical records for those at risk of progressing to psychosis. Many medical records are relatively unstructured, with information of mental health being hidden in sections that don’t allow systematic research. Our data-mining system does a more total search of the records people who have been referred to hospital (secondary care), searching for keywords such as weight loss, insomnia, cocaine, guilt, etc. We will be able to look for 14 different terms which we then evaluate for the risk of psychosis. At that point, patients might be invited for a one-to-one interview. We have found that prevention can halve the risk of psychosis developing,” added Fusar-Poli.

The systems have evaluated 92,151 patients over a long follow up period.

They were in a position to confirm that their method worked polite to detect young people at risk, even if Professor Fusar-Poli cautioned that “these results need further replication in other countries before they may be able to enter clinical routine but they look very promising. Replication will be facilitated by international research consortia such as the ECNP-funded Prevention of Mental Disorders and Mental Health Promotion Network”

Prof. Fusar-Poli suggested that the detection of these young people is step one towards prevention. Preventive interventions in these people can translate into several benefits.

“This translates into real benefits. Even though the initial cost for establishing specialised services and products detecting young people at risk of psychosis is greater, intervening before the onset of psychosis is associated with fewer treatments, fewer days in the hospital, along with the tangible and social health benefits, meaning that the NHS saved around £1000 per patient diagnosed. Our detection systems can extend these benefits to many other young people who might be at risk of psychosis,” said Fusar-Poli.

Professor Fusar-Poli will present the work while chairing a session on the prevention of mental disorders (see below) at the ECNP Congress.

“We have been working with the ECNP special group on Prevention of Mental Disorders and Mental Health Promotion, and with the EU-Funded European Mind Research Area to establish a Europe-wide system of advance warning for young people at risk of psychosis. It is very important that we bring the most productive expertise to affect on this problem, and we will be able to all memorize from the experience of others,” he added.

Commenting independently, Professor Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg (Mannheim), member of the ECNP executive board said: “This work is a wonderful example of the transformative role of man made intelligence and big data processing in psychiatry. While much attention in this field has been focused on organic data and biomarkers, this result shows the gains that may be made whether the wealth of written information that clinicians produce in their day-to-day work is mined the usage of innovative approaches.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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