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Mathematical Algorithm Enables Quick, Cheap Diagnosis of Parkinson's

Max Little, a mathematician at MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory, has developed algorithms that, when used to analyze speech samples, can detect Parkinson's disease with approximately 99 percent accuracy. 

Little's work has the potential to make screening for Parkinson's easier, cheaper, and much more widespread, since voice-based tests could be administered remotely by patients themselves in as little as 30 seconds.

Little has found that the seemingly unrelated problem of extrasolar planet detection is amenable to analysis using his Parkinson's algorithms. He writes:

This is the pattern I find in my mathematical research: a particular problem requires a mathematical solution, and I find that I already have a useful algorithm in my 'algorithm toolbox.' The goal of my research, then, is to discover ways to adapt those mathematical tools to help solve new problems. This process has extraordinary depth and is always fascinating.

Source: Huffington Post

Start Date: 
Thursday, February 14, 2013