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A Great New Tool To Diagnose some Mental Illness

A Great New Tool To Diagnose some Mental Illness

A camera has been used by British Scientists to help psychiatrists in their mental illness diagnosis. Three mental diseases – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression – show similar symptoms, which sometimes makes them difficult to properly diagnose with traditional methods. The camera is used to track eye movements of the patients. Those are analyzed to find markers that differentiate the three conditions.

Patients are shown a variety of pictures on a computer screen while the camera registers every detail of their eye movements. If a patient does not look at extensively at many points of the image as a whole, it is likely that his disease is schizophrenia. Schizophrenics tend to fix their gaze on specific points of pictures for a longer period without looking as much at the picture as a whole. Depression and bipolar disorder also show specific markers when the eye movements are analyzed with the camera; however, the differences are a lot more subtle.

The new technologies developed in terms of brain scanning and DNA analysis have not been able to provide psychiatrists with proper tools to help diagnosis. The recent development in eye tracking technology, though, allowed scientists to test a century old theory: that abnormal ways of looking at things are a sign of psychosis.

In the tests done so far, this new camera shows 95% accuracy in diagnosing the three illness diseases targeted and the test requires only 30 minutes. Up until now, it could sometimes take years of analysis and observation to make a proper diagnosis. This innovation will most likely have a significant impact on psychiatry. Professor Nick Craddock of the Royal College of Psychiatrists welcomed it by saying: “Laboratory tests that can help in prompt and accurate diagnosis of severe mental illness will be immensely valuable”.

The new technology is still being tested before it can be commercialized. It was developed by Madhu Nair, a technology entrepreneur, Dr Philip Benson, from Aberdeen’s university and Professor David Sinclair from the universities’ chair of mental health. Their goal is to market this technology. It should be available through the health care industry in a couple of years.

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Do your friends sabotage your diet?

22-01-2014

If you are dieting to lose weight, your friends could cause it to be harder to stay on your diet. A study has shown that people find their dieting friends boring and no fun. These same friends could cause you to stray off your diet for this reason. Also, men have been found to be more likely to go off their diets than women.

Postpone prostate surgery

22-01-2014

Prostate cancer patients might consider waiting to see what tumors cells become over a course of a few years before consenting to surgery. The PSA is able to show tumor cells before they are large enough to using diagnostic imaging. Exploring your options before having surgery is a good idea when only cells are detected through traditional PSA tests.

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