Schizophrenia may block the music in speech: study

They now want to see if their findings could lead to new ways to treat the disease, either with drugs, therapy or both.

"People have been assuming that patients are experiencing the world normally and not processing the information correctly," Dr. Daniel Javitt, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the New York University School of Medicine in Orangeburg, New York, said in a telephone interview.

"We show they are not experiencing the world normally. They don\’t read social cues. They can\’t read facial expressions. They can\’t tell by tone of voice what emotion a person is showing."

Their tests on 19 adults with schizophrenia and 19 similar people without the condition showed clear differences, both when assessed using quizzes and looking inside the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.

"They can\’t use pitch — they just don\’t hear those pitch changes. Not only do they not get emotion, they don\’t get whether it is a question or a statement. And what we show in the paper is that these sensory abnormalities are driven by structures in the brain, in the connections between the brain stem and the auditory cortex," Javitt said.

Javitt said the findings, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, might help explain why people with schizophrenia often have poor social skills even before they begin to show symptoms of the disease People with schizophrenia cannot hear false notes in music as well as healthy people do, and often cannot make out important tones that convey meaning in speech, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

They now want to see if their findings could lead to new ways to treat the disease, either with drugs, therapy or both.

"People have been assuming that patients are experiencing the world normally and not processing the information correctly," Dr. Daniel Javitt, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at the New York University School of Medicine in Orangeburg, New York, said in a telephone interview.

"We show they are not experiencing the world normally. They don\’t read social cues. They can\’t read facial expressions. They can\’t tell by tone of voice what emotion a person is showing."

Their tests on 19 adults with schizophrenia and 19 similar people without the condition showed clear differences, both when assessed using quizzes and looking inside the brain using magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI.

"They can\’t use pitch — they just don\’t hear those pitch changes. Not only do they not get emotion, they don\’t get whether it is a question or a statement. And what we show in the paper is that these sensory abnormalities are driven by structures in the brain, in the connections between the brain stem and the auditory cortex," Javitt said.

Javitt said the findings, published in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, might help explain why people with schizophrenia often have poor social skills even before they begin to show symptoms of the disease

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