"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

AI voice evaluation could improve Alzheimer’s detection

April 14, 2023 – Using artificial intelligence to investigate a voice recording could reduce the time it takes to screen for Alzheimer's disease from several hours to lower than 10 minutes.

Currently, Alzheimer's screenings can include brain scans and analyses of cerebrospinal fluid taken from the spine via a procedure called a lumbar puncture. Researchers from universities in Texas and Georgia compared the outcomes of those standard tests with their recent AI-powered voice screening.

The experimental technique identifies subtle changes in an individual's voice that would indicate cognitive problems and Alzheimer's before symptoms appear. The study's results were published earlier this yr by the Alzheimer's Association in Diagnosis, assessment and disease monitoring.

“If confirmed by larger studies, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to examine voice recordings could provide primary care providers with an easy-to-use screening tool for at-risk individuals,” said researcher Ihab Hajjar, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern in a opinion“An earlier diagnosis would give patients and their families more time to plan for the future and provide physicians more flexibility in recommending promising lifestyle interventions.”

The study involved 206 people, nearly half of whom had mild cognitive impairment and the others had no cognitive impairment. All of the people were under 50 years old and 51% of them were African American. They all took part within the tests for the study at Emory University in Atlanta.

In the study's voice recording task, participants spent 1 to 2 minutes describing a murals.

Using artificial intelligence to investigate speech changes can discover signs of early diseases which might be either extremely laborious to detect with current methods or can't be detected in any respect by the human ear, Hajjar said.

“With this new testing method, we were able to accurately detect patients with mild cognitive impairment and, in particular, identify patients with signs of Alzheimer's disease – even if this cannot be easily detected with standard cognitive tests,” he said.

Mild cognitive impairment, which among the study participants had, signifies that someone has speech or memory problems which might be severe enough to be noticed by the person affected, in addition to by family and friends. However, the issues don't prevent those affected from carrying out on a regular basis tasks.

Not everyone who has mild cognitive impairment Alzheimer's disease develops, a progressive neurological disease that Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's is described as causing brain shrinkage. In the United States, 5.8 million people aged 65 and over are affected by Alzheimer's.