Automated tongue-twister phrase-based screening for Cerebellar Ataxia using Vocal tract Biomarkers

Bipasha Kashyap, Pubudu N. Pathirana, Malcolm Horne, Laura Power, David Szmulewicz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Cerebellar Ataxia (CA) is a neurological condition that leads to uncoordinated muscle movements, even affecting the production of speech. Effective biomarkers are necessary to produce an objective decision-making support tool for early diagnosis of CA in non-clinical environments. This paper investigates the reliability and effectiveness of vocal tract acoustic biomarkers for assessing CA speech. These features were tested on a database consisting of 52 clinically rated tongue-twister phrase 'British Constitution' and its 4 consonant-vowel (CV) excerpts /ti/, /ti/', /tu/, /tion/ acquired from 30 ataxic patients and 22 healthy controls. Such a marker could be applied to objectively assess the severity of CA from a simple speaking test, contributing to the possibility of being translated into a computer based automatic module to screen the disease from the speech. All the vocal tract features explored in this study were statistically significant using Kolmogorov-Smirnov test at 5% level in distinguishing healthy and CA speech. Several machine learning classifiers with 5-fold cross-validations were implemented on the vocal features. It was observed that the intensity ratios corresponding to the 4 C-V excerpts in CA group showed an increased variability and produced the best classification accuracy of 84.6% using KNN classifier. Results motivate the use of vocal tract features for monitoring CA speech.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC)
EditorsRiccardo Barbieri
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Pages7173-7176
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538613115
ISBN (Print)9781538613122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2019: Biomedical Engineering Ranging from Wellness to Intensive Care - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 23 Jul 201927 Jul 2019
Conference number: 41st
https://embc.embs.org/2019/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society 2019
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2019
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period23/07/1927/07/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • acoustic analysis
  • cerebellar ataxia
  • linear predictive coding
  • spectrogram
  • speech biomarker
  • vocal tract measures

Cite this

Kashyap, B., Pathirana, P. N., Horne, M., Power, L., & Szmulewicz, D. (2019). Automated tongue-twister phrase-based screening for Cerebellar Ataxia using Vocal tract Biomarkers. In R. Barbieri (Ed.), 2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) (pp. 7173-7176). IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2019.8857868