Parkinson’s disease (PD) begins well before movement symptoms appear, and many people have a long journey to diagnosis. No objective test for Parkinson’s exists. If we are able to detect the disease at an early stage, we might be able to intervene and prescribe interventions that will slow progression of the disease and help people maintain their quality of life.
We believe that smart computer programs will allow us to detect early signs of PD from videos of people doing normal activities, such as drawing, walking, reaching for a cup or folding towels. We may also be able to predict the stage of disease and see how it is progressing.
We plan to use videos of people with PD doing different things to develop sophisticated computer programs that can detect specific movement patterns that are only seen in people with PD. We will then see how well our computer programs can diagnose early PD, compared with medical and clinical professionals.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:
Our system may enable early detection of PD. Those people could then receive assistance and medication — when available — to delay the progression of the disease.
Next Steps for Development:
In the future, we plan to use slightly more sophisticated cameras that can capture more information than normal video. This will help us improve our computer programs and ensure the privacy of the people we record.