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Parkinson’s speech research

Artificial Intelligence is become increasingly more commonplace in our society, with many areas of our lives changed as a result of understanding gained from the use of neural networks in machine learning.

As a business we’re passionate about the impact Parkinson’s disease (PD) has on many areas of the lives of individuals suffering from the disease. One area we’re investigating is how people living with Parkinson’s speech is affected when ‘freezing’ episodes are experienced, and how artificial intelligence may be able to assist.

The project (Parkinson’s Artificial Learning Machine) follows on from research undertaken for PD diagnosis at Kings College in London, which collected speech samples from volunteers reading set passages and general conversion, recorded using a mobile phone.

We’re looking to incorporate the recording of separate words, phrases and paragraphs which can be integrated into a neural network, to help with training to recognise speech of those living with PD, at different stages.

We have now obtained full ethical approval and would like to work with those living with Parkinsons over the coming months to understand how their speech is affected, and are looking for volunteers within the local Parkinson’s UK support network who would be willing to take part in the project. All this would require is voice recordings to be taken over a period of time, which can be used for understanding as part of this research. This information will be essential in understanding to develop software tools which can train and learn to help those living with Parkinsons in the future.

Here’s a short excerpt from one of the chosen training passages, read by one of our volunteers.

North wind and the sun

If you would be able to assist in this, please use our research contact form to get in touch.

You can download the participant information sheets using the links below:

Thank you.

If you are interested in finding exercises to assist your voice, you can download the Parkinson’s Foundation Exercises sheet here.