News ArchivesRead News
Speech Monitoring Could Track Parkinson’s Disease .
Wednesday November 17, 2010
eNews Park Forest - The severity of Parkinson’s disease symptoms could be accurately monitored remotely through analysing a patient’s speech patterns, a new study suggests.
The research, by scientists from Oxford University and Denver, Colorado, examined almost 6,000 speech recordings from 42 people with Parkinson’s. The team found that their new algorithms were able to use this speech data to estimate overall symptom severity with an accuracy very close to assessments made by clinicians.
A report of the research is published in this week’s Interface, a journal of the Royal Society.
‘Currently, monitoring requires frequent visits to hospital where people with Parkinson’s are physically examined by expert clinicians in order to assess their symptom severity, putting a strain on both patients and hospital resources,’ said Dr Max Little of Oxford University, an author of the report.
‘We believe that this technology could help to alleviate the burden on health systems, such as the NHS, and make it feasible to run large-scale clinical trials for the investigation of novel Parkinson’s disease treatments.’
The researchers compared estimates made using the new technique with assessments made by clinicians rated on the standard measure for Parkinson’s severity – the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). They found that, based on around 140 speech samples from each of the 42 patients, the estimates made using the algorithms differed from clinicians UPDRS ratings by around 2 points out of 55.
The full UPDRS scale is 0-176, but the research only looked at those in the early stages of the disease in the range 0-55 (the team believe these results can be replicated with at least the same accuracy with people in the later stages of the disease).
The study provides good evidence that speech impairment and the average overall severity of other Parkinson’s disease symptoms are very closely linked, suggesting that symptom severity can be measured just by analysing a person’s speech.
‘This sort of remote monitoring – or ‘telemonitoring’ – of people’s health is particularly important for people with Parkinson’s who may find it difficult to make frequent hospital visits,’ said Dr Little. ‘The hope is that our research could pave the way for very large clinical studies of new treatments for Parkinson’s where the sort of frequent monitoring required would not otherwise be affordable.’
Recent NewsMay 24 - Survival Rates Differ Widely in Parkinson's, MSA, Lewy Bodies
May 22 - Discovery may offer hope to Parkinson's disease patients
May 15 - Study offers answers on life expectancy for people with Parkinson's disease, Lewy body dementia
May 5 - Parkinson's in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
May 5 - ‘Hunger Hormone’ Could Help Treat Parkinson’s Disease
May 3 - Antibiotic doxycycline may offer hope for treatment of Parkinson's disease
May 1 - Impulse Control Disorders in Parkinson's Disease: Building Physician, Patient Awareness
Apr 28 - Does Parkinson’s disease begin in the gut?
Apr 28 - New empathy-creating digital device could be revolutionary for caregivers
Apr 24 - Treating Depression With Deep Brain Stimulation Works—Most of the Time
Apr 24 - Parkinson’s disease shows links to depression
Apr 21 - TOLEDO Trial: Apomorphine Infusions Reduce 'Off' Time in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 21 - New drug provides long-awaited breakthrough for Parkinson's psychosis
Apr 12 - Obstructive Sleep Apnea Affects Cognition in Parkinson's Disease
Apr 11 - Seattle boxing gym giving hope to Parkinson's patients
Apr 10 - A new rhythm
Apr 10 - Brain cells reprogrammed to make dopamine, with goal of Parkinson's therapy
Apr 6 - FDA allows marketing of first direct-to-consumer tests that provide genetic risk information for certain conditions
Apr 5 - Combatting the isolation of young onset Parkinson's disease
Apr 1 - The Kid is Alright