Language production has often been described as impaired in psychiatric diseases such as in psychosis. Nevertheless, little is known about the characteristics of linguistic difficulties and their relation with other cognitive domains in patients with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), either affective or non-affective. To deepen our comprehension of linguistic profile in FEP, 133 patients with FEP (95 non-affective, FEP-NA; 38 affective, FEP-A) and 133 healthy controls (HC) were assessed with a narrative discourse task. Speech samples were systematically analyzed with a well-established multilevel procedure investigating both micro- (lexicon, morphology, syntax) and macro-linguistic (discourse coherence, pragmatics) levels of linguistic processing. Executive functioning and IQ were also evaluated. Both linguistic and neuropsychological measures were secondarily implemented with a machine learning approach in order to explore their predictive accuracy in classifying participants as FEP or HC. Compared to HC, FEP patients showed language production difficulty at both micro- and macro-linguistic levels. As for the former, FEP produced shorter and simpler sentences and fewer words per minute, along with a reduced number of lexical fillers, compared to HC. At the macro-linguistic level, FEP performance was impaired in local coherence, which was paired with a higher percentage of utterances with semantic errors. Linguistic measures were not correlated with any neuropsychological variables. No significant differences emerged between FEP-NA and FEP-A (p≥0.02, after Bonferroni correction). Machine learning analysis showed an accuracy of group prediction of 76.36% using language features only, with semantic variables being the most impactful. Such a percentage was enhanced when paired with clinical and neuropsychological variables. Results confirm the presence of language production deficits already at the first episode of the illness, being such impairment not related to other cognitive domains. The high accuracy obtained by the linguistic set of features in classifying groups support the use of machine learning methods in neuroscience investigations.

Language production impairments in patients with a first episode of psychosis / Gargano, Giulia; Caletti, Elisabetta; Perlini, Cinzia; Turtulici, Nunzio; Bellani, Marcella; Bonivento, Carolina; Garzitto, Marco; Siri, Francesca Marzia; Longo, Chiara; Bonetto, Chiara; Cristofalo, Doriana; Scocco, Paolo; Semrov, Enrico; Preti, Antonio; Lazzarotto, Lorenza; Gardellin, Francesco; Lasalvia, Antonio; Ruggeri, Mirella; Marini, Andrea; Brambilla, Paolo. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - STAMPA. - 17:8(2022). [10.1371/journal.pone.0272873]

Language production impairments in patients with a first episode of psychosis

Longo, Chiara;
2022

Abstract

Language production has often been described as impaired in psychiatric diseases such as in psychosis. Nevertheless, little is known about the characteristics of linguistic difficulties and their relation with other cognitive domains in patients with a first episode of psychosis (FEP), either affective or non-affective. To deepen our comprehension of linguistic profile in FEP, 133 patients with FEP (95 non-affective, FEP-NA; 38 affective, FEP-A) and 133 healthy controls (HC) were assessed with a narrative discourse task. Speech samples were systematically analyzed with a well-established multilevel procedure investigating both micro- (lexicon, morphology, syntax) and macro-linguistic (discourse coherence, pragmatics) levels of linguistic processing. Executive functioning and IQ were also evaluated. Both linguistic and neuropsychological measures were secondarily implemented with a machine learning approach in order to explore their predictive accuracy in classifying participants as FEP or HC. Compared to HC, FEP patients showed language production difficulty at both micro- and macro-linguistic levels. As for the former, FEP produced shorter and simpler sentences and fewer words per minute, along with a reduced number of lexical fillers, compared to HC. At the macro-linguistic level, FEP performance was impaired in local coherence, which was paired with a higher percentage of utterances with semantic errors. Linguistic measures were not correlated with any neuropsychological variables. No significant differences emerged between FEP-NA and FEP-A (p≥0.02, after Bonferroni correction). Machine learning analysis showed an accuracy of group prediction of 76.36% using language features only, with semantic variables being the most impactful. Such a percentage was enhanced when paired with clinical and neuropsychological variables. Results confirm the presence of language production deficits already at the first episode of the illness, being such impairment not related to other cognitive domains. The high accuracy obtained by the linguistic set of features in classifying groups support the use of machine learning methods in neuroscience investigations.
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Gargano, Giulia; Caletti, Elisabetta; Perlini, Cinzia; Turtulici, Nunzio; Bellani, Marcella; Bonivento, Carolina; Garzitto, Marco; Siri, Francesca Marzia; Longo, Chiara; Bonetto, Chiara; Cristofalo, Doriana; Scocco, Paolo; Semrov, Enrico; Preti, Antonio; Lazzarotto, Lorenza; Gardellin, Francesco; Lasalvia, Antonio; Ruggeri, Mirella; Marini, Andrea; Brambilla, Paolo
Language production impairments in patients with a first episode of psychosis / Gargano, Giulia; Caletti, Elisabetta; Perlini, Cinzia; Turtulici, Nunzio; Bellani, Marcella; Bonivento, Carolina; Garzitto, Marco; Siri, Francesca Marzia; Longo, Chiara; Bonetto, Chiara; Cristofalo, Doriana; Scocco, Paolo; Semrov, Enrico; Preti, Antonio; Lazzarotto, Lorenza; Gardellin, Francesco; Lasalvia, Antonio; Ruggeri, Mirella; Marini, Andrea; Brambilla, Paolo. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - STAMPA. - 17:8(2022). [10.1371/journal.pone.0272873]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/352300
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