Detecting suicidal thoughts ain’t that easy. There are a various reasons, one of them being patients not sharing these thoughts with anyone, the stigmas around it and getting away with questionnaires designed for detecting suicidal thoughts. Well, you may call this a thing of the past now because there is a ray of hope or good news around this issue. Recently researchers have found out that a brain imaging technique an identity people based on asking them meaning of certain keywords with the help of machine learning analysis.
In the study, around 34 young adults half without a history of suicide attempt and half with a history of suicide attempt were studied. They were placed in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (FMRI). This machine is used to measure activity of the brain through blood flow monitoring. They were then given 30 different words, pertaining to positive and negative feelings both like kindness, trouble, carefree and more. The researchers made use of machine learning to for mapping the brain of the subjects and the results were astounding. The machine rightly recognized the participant subjects with history of suicide and without 91% of the times.
The researchers observed that the minds of the subjects with suicidal history responded in a different way to the keywords as those without such a history. As per the researchers, suicidal ideation is the same as what you think about things. They feel that even if the study is on a smaller scale it is promising enough because the results do find a ray of hope in the use of FMRI alongside machine learning. The researchers also believe that if the same is proved with larger studies, it could be of great tool for doctors for assessments of suicidal risks and also device targeted treatments. Having said that, researchers also brought forward the fact that FMRI machines cost a bomb. Hence, the team was also trying to figure out cheaper alternatives and working on using the electroencephalogram (EEG) – which is used for detecting brains electrical activity for cracking the concepts around suicide as well as negative and positive feelings.
Though there are a lot many questions around the future including the privacy question, the technology overall is definitely a helpful one as it certainly help doctors in minimizing suicidal risks.
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*Source from the internet