Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 5% of those over 80 years old and can lead to debilitating changes in one’s movements and behaviors. While symptoms can be managed with dopaminergic agents, many individuals are diagnosed when symptoms become refractory to care.
Max Little, an applied mathematician at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and and TedGlobal 2012 Fellow, is best known for his work on the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative. His team has developed a simple tool that uses precise voice analysis software to detect Parkinson’s with 99 percent accuracy. It takes advantage of Parkinson’s tendency to cause speech problems including reduced volume (hypophonia), reduced pitch range (monotone), and difficulty with articulation of sounds or syllables (dysarthria).
Here is Little speaking at a recent TedGlobal Conference on the technology and its potential: