As a symptom, it is commonly seen in patients suffering from schizophrenia and is considered a negative symptom.
In psychology, alogia (Greek ἀ-, “without”, and λόγος, “speech”), or the poverty of speech , is a general lack of additional content, not spontaneous, seen in normal speech.
It can complicate psychotherapy severely due to the considerable difficulty of maintaining a fluent conversation.
Alogy is often considered a form of aphasia , which is a general impairment in language ability. It often occurs with intellectual disability and dementia as a result of damage to the left hemisphere of the brain.
People may revert to allegiance as a form of reverse psychology or avoid questions.
Affect dulling is a reduction in emotional expression that is manifested by a reduction in facial expression, eye contact, and body language.
Incongruity of affect is the display of emotions that are clearly inappropriate for the situation, often leading the person to appear silly or strange.
Characteristics and symptoms of alogia
Alogy is characterized by a lack of speech, often caused by a disruption in the thinking process. Usually, a lesion in the left hemisphere of the brain will cause the appearance of allogy in an individual.
In the conversation, the alogic patients will respond very little and their answers to the questions will lack spontaneous content; sometimes they don’t even respond at all.
Your responses will be brief, generally only appearing in response to a question or suggestion.
In addition to the lack of content in an answer, the way the person delivers the answer is also affected. Patients affected by alogy will often slander their responses, and will not pronounce the consonants as clearly as usual.
The few words spoken usually turn into a whisper, or just end on the second syllable.
Studies have shown a correlation between alogic ratings in individuals and the number and duration of pauses in their speech when answering a series of questions posed by the researcher.
The inability to speak stems from a deeper mental inability that makes allogeneic patients have difficulty mentally grasping the correct words, as well as formulating their thoughts.
A study investigating allogiacs and their results on the category fluency task showed that people with schizophrenia who present with alogia exhibit more disorganized semantic memory than controls.
While both groups produced the same number of words, the words produced by people with schizophrenia were much messier, and the results of the cluster analysis revealed strange consistency in the allogeneic group.
Although allegiance is a negative symptom in itself, it is very difficult to dissociate this from many other symptoms as they are interrelated. Alogy can hasten patients’ withdrawal from social interaction, exacerbating another negative symptom.
Speech deficits have long been known to be related to schizophrenia and studies, for example, reduced speech and verbal fluency in patients with schizophrenia compared to controls, have been routinely found.
Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown functionally altered language pathways in schizophrenia, and this may include reduced activation of networks, including the frontotemporal regions and the thalamus.
Poor speech is possibly the most difficult negative symptom to model in animals. However, rodents use other forms of communication, which can be studied.
These forms include olfactory and tactile modes of communication, such as mutual grooming. However, potentially more promising is the ability to measure the ultrasonic vocalizations that are emitted during different tests, including social interaction.
Chabout and his colleagues analyzed this test and how acoustic communication was used by the mice during the task.
Other researchers have shown that mice exposed to prenatal lipopolysaccharides showed a reduced number and duration of ultrasonic vocalizations in the postnatal days and subsequently exhibited impaired nest-seeking behavior.
Measurement of ultrasonic vocalizations as a model for negative symptoms in schizophrenia can be helpful, but a direct link to allogy in humans should only be viewed with caution.
Alogy is another term for poor speech in which the patient spontaneously says little and gives brief answers to questions.
Alogy may be caused by frontostriatal dysfunction that causes degradation of the semantic store, the center located in the temporal lobe that processes meaning in language.
A subset of chronic schizophrenia patients in a word generation experiment generated fewer words than unaffected subjects and had limited lexicons, evidence of the weakening of the semantic store.
Another study found that when tasked with naming items in a category, schizophrenia patients showed great struggle but improved significantly when experimenters employed a second stimulus to unconsciously guide behavior.
This conclusion was similar to the results produced by patients with Huntington and Parkinson’s disease, diseases that also involve frontostriatal dysfunction.
Alogy is generally associated with organic mental problems such as schizophrenia, mental retardation or dementia, it is usually caused by damage to the left hemisphere of the brain.
Alogy is normally considered a type of aphasia (speech difficulties related to brain damage), however it is sometimes seen in clients as voluntary behavior that is motivated by a desire to avoid answering questions.
For example, a therapist asks questions that attempt to make a client open up about their feelings or thoughts, only for the client to respond with only yes or no answers.
Treatment of allergy
Medical studies conclude that certain complementary drugs effectively attenuate the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, mainly allergy.
In one study, maprotiline produced the greatest reduction in symptoms of allogia with a 50% decrease in severity.
Of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, alogia had the second best response to drugs, second only to attention deficit.
D-amphetamine is another drug that has been tried in people with schizophrenia and has been successful in relieving negative symptoms.
However, this treatment has not developed much as it appears to have adverse effects on other aspects of schizophrenia, such as increasing the severity of positive symptoms.
Relationship with schizophrenia
Although allergy is found as a symptom in a variety of health disorders, it is most commonly found as a negative symptom of schizophrenia.
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia have previously been considered related to a psychiatric form of Dysexecutive Syndrome (also known as frontal lobe syndrome).
Studies show that symptoms of schizophrenia correlate with frontal lobe syndrome.
Previous studies and analysis conclude that there are three factors that include the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. These three factors are: allegiance, impaired attention, and inappropriate affect.
Studies suggest that inappropriate affect is strongly associated with strange behavior and positive formal thought disorder; impaired attention is significantly correlated with negative symptom, disorganized, and psychotic factors.
However, the allegiance is seen to contain both positive and negative symptoms, with poverty of speech content as the disorganization factor and poor speech, latency and blockage as the negative symptom factor.
These results suggest that three dimensions are needed to categorize the negative and positive symptoms of schizophrenia.