Voice Analysis to Differentiate the Dopaminergic Response in People With Parkinson's Disease

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15 (2021)
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Abstract

Humans' voice offers the widest variety of motor phenomena of any human activity. However, its clinical evaluation in people with movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease lags behind current knowledge on advanced analytical automatic speech processing methodology. Here, we use deep learning-based speech processing to differentially analyze voice recordings in 14 people with PD before and after dopaminergic medication using personalized Convolutional Recurrent Neural Networks and Phone Attribute Codebooks. p-CRNN yields an accuracy of 82.35% in the binary classification of ON and OFF motor states at a sensitivity/specificity of 0.86/0.78. The PAC-based approach's accuracy was slightly lower with 73.08% at a sensitivity/specificity of 0.69/0.77, but this method offers easier interpretation and understanding of the computational biomarkers. Both p-CRNN and PAC provide a differentiated view and novel insights into the distinctive components of the speech of persons with PD. Both methods detect voice qualities that are amenable to dopaminergic treatment, including active phonetic and prosodic features. Our findings may pave the way for quantitative measurements of speech in persons with PD.

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