According to the World Health Organization, the number of people suffering from dementia worldwide will grow to 150 million by mid-century, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia contributing to 60%–70% of cases. The problem is compounded by the fact that current pharmacologic treatments are only symptomatic, and therapies are ineffective in slow down or cure the degenerative process. An automatic and standardize classifier for Alzheimer’s disease is thereby extremely important to rapidly respond and deliver as preventive as possible interventions. Speech alterations might be one of the earliest signs of cognitive defect and, recently, the researchers showed that they can be observable well in advance other cognitive deficits become manifest. In this paper, we propose a full automated method able to classify the spontaneous spoken production of the subjects. In particular, we trained an artificial neural network using the spectrogram of the audio signal, which is the visual representation of the speech of the subject. Moreover, to overcome the problem of the large amount of annotated data usually required for training deep learning models, we used a specific data augmentation approach that avoids distorting the original samples. We evaluated the proposed method using the English Pitt Corpus from DementiaBank. The used dataset consists of 180 subjects: 43 healthy controls and 137 Alzheimer’s disease patients. The proposed method outperformed the other approaches in the literature based on manual and semi-automatic transcription and annotation of speech, improving the classification capability by 5.93%, and obtained good classification results compared to the state-of-the-art neuropsychological screening tests (i.e., the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Activities of Daily Living portion of the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale) exhibiting an accuracy of 93.30% and an F1 score of 88.50%.

An automatic Alzheimer’s disease classifier based on spontaneous spoken English

Calzà, Laura;Montesi, Danilo
2022

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people suffering from dementia worldwide will grow to 150 million by mid-century, and Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia contributing to 60%–70% of cases. The problem is compounded by the fact that current pharmacologic treatments are only symptomatic, and therapies are ineffective in slow down or cure the degenerative process. An automatic and standardize classifier for Alzheimer’s disease is thereby extremely important to rapidly respond and deliver as preventive as possible interventions. Speech alterations might be one of the earliest signs of cognitive defect and, recently, the researchers showed that they can be observable well in advance other cognitive deficits become manifest. In this paper, we propose a full automated method able to classify the spontaneous spoken production of the subjects. In particular, we trained an artificial neural network using the spectrogram of the audio signal, which is the visual representation of the speech of the subject. Moreover, to overcome the problem of the large amount of annotated data usually required for training deep learning models, we used a specific data augmentation approach that avoids distorting the original samples. We evaluated the proposed method using the English Pitt Corpus from DementiaBank. The used dataset consists of 180 subjects: 43 healthy controls and 137 Alzheimer’s disease patients. The proposed method outperformed the other approaches in the literature based on manual and semi-automatic transcription and annotation of speech, improving the classification capability by 5.93%, and obtained good classification results compared to the state-of-the-art neuropsychological screening tests (i.e., the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Activities of Daily Living portion of the Blessed Dementia Rating Scale) exhibiting an accuracy of 93.30% and an F1 score of 88.50%.
COMPUTER SPEECH AND LANGUAGE
Bertini, Flavio; Allevi, Davide; Lutero, Gianluca; Calzà, Laura; Montesi, Danilo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/833418
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