Blog Author: Archita Khaire
Currently there is no cure for Parkinson's disease. It doesn’t always affect how long you live but has a severely negative impact on the quality of life of patients and their caregivers. Early detection of PD can improve the symptoms dramatically.
Image Credit: https://www.pcori.org/research-results/pcori-stories/improving-life-women-parkinsons-disease
Early Detection of PD using AI
There are multiple early signs that can indicate onset of Parkinson's disease. Health data collected around these signs is used to build machine learning algorithms that can predict the PD.
1. Speech impairments like dysphonia (defective use of the voice), hypophonia (reduced volume), monotone (reduced pitch range), and dysarthria (difficulty with articulation of sounds or syllables) are used to detect PD. UCI Machine Learning Repository: Parkinsons Telemonitoring Data Set was created by Athanasios Tsanas and Max Little of the University of Oxford, in collaboration with 10 medical centers in the US and Intel Corporation who developed the tele-monitoring device to record the speech signals.
Image Credit: DOI:10.1109/SIBGRAPI.2016.054
3. Difficulty in walking is another sign of growing Parkinson's disease. Deep learning algorithms are used in Gait analysis to classify the movement properties into two classes PD and non-PD using features such as imbalance, frequency of falls etc.
4. Researchers are attempting to detect PD using human olfactory data. In patients with OD, loss of smell starts many years early before onset of motor skill symptoms. There is potential to diagnose PD much early with this method.
Leveraging AI to treat PD
Parkinson’s is caused by the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists at Stanford school of medicine identified Miro1, mitochondrial protein which resists removal of damaged cells. They analyzed millions of drugs using AI to identify a compound that could bind with Miro and enhance the cell mechanism to remove damaged nerve cells.
Researchers at John Hopkins have identified the glucagon-like peptide receptor, or GLP1 receptor as potential receptor for slowing down PD. They are leveraging to AI to check if diabetes drug could be used to prevent neurological cell deaths.