Christin Baasch: Instrumentelle Analyse von Parkinson-Sprache

To appear soon, 2019



  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schmidt
    (first reviewer)
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Möller
    (second reviewer)
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stephan Pachnicke
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jeffrey McCord
    (head of the examination board)



Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most frequent neurodegenerative diseases worldwide. Besides motor disorders, patients affected by this disease mostly suffer from a speech disorder named dysarthria.

It will be treated by a speech therapist with a speech therapy, its success as well as the progress of the dysarthria shall be documented. Therefore, a multitude of different methods are available to do so, but all of them have one thing in common: they are not completely objective, because not fully automatic. There ist always a subjective component, where a rater or another person influences the process.

This work presents a system, named SINAS, for fully automatic rating of the dysarthria. The system contains two main components: a recording tool and an analysis tool. The first one gives the possibility to the speech therapist to guide the patient easy and with visual aid by HTML pages through different speech tasks. Thereby the recordings will be robust in level and independent of the position of the microphone.

In the analysis tool acoustic measures are calculated from the recordings, which are intended to evaluate the three clusters of symptoms of dysarthria. These measures form the entry of a neural network, which gives an NTID rating as a result. The NTID scale rates the inteligibility of the recording and therefore the dysarthria of the patient in six steps. The validation of the tool is done by comparison of the results with a survey, where people rated the recordings of Parkinson patients according to the NTID scale, the mean value for each recording is then taken as a reference. As cost functions for evaluating the developed system the correlation, the mean absolute error, as well as the variance of the error are taken, on the basis of these functions the system will be optimized.

For further evaluation and to take into account the uncertainty of the raters, the epsilon insensitive RMSE is used to evaluate the performance of the system. This clearly shows the possibility of a fully automatic NTID rating of the patients with the presented SINAS system.

The developed tool can now form the basis for many applications to support the speech therapy of Parkinson patients.

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Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Schmidt


Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Faculty of Engineering
Institute for Electrical Engineering and Information Engineering
Digital Signal Processing and System Theory

Kaiserstr. 2
24143 Kiel, Germany

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