Sydney: Speech patterns can reveal the severity of depression as well as a patient`s response to treatment, suggests a new study.The study, the largest of its kind in the world, found that improvement in patients diagnosed with depression and undergoing treatment can be monitored over the phone by looking at changes in their speech.Adam Vogel, who heads the Speech Neuroscience Unit at Australia`s University of Melbourne, said speech was a strong marker of brain health, and changes in how we sound reflected how well our brain was working, the journal Biological Psychiatry reports."The speech of people with depression changes when they respond to treatment, becoming faster and with shorter pauses. Those with more severe depression produce longer pauses and have slower speaking rates," Vogel said, according to a Melbourne statement. The randomised controlled trial of 105 patients looked at vocal acoustic properties such as timing, pitch and intonation to see if they could provide reliable biomarkers to depression severity and responses to treatment.
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