Loquens, Vol 4, No 1 (2017)

Biomedical applications of voice and speech processing


Pedro Gómez Vilda
Neuromorphic Processing Laboratory (NeuVox Lab). Center for Biomedical Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3283-378X


Neurological deterioration presents different variants depending on their classification criterion, which may be their anatomic localization or their disease clinical features, although there is not a clear cut between both. Anatomically this ample group of disorders may affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), or the peripheral nervous system. Clinically, the neurodegenerative disorders are classified as affecting cognitive functions or neuromotor capabilities. In the group of neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Fronto-Temporal Dementia (FTD) are to be found, whereas in the second group certain pathologies as Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s Disease (HD) or myasthenia gravis (MG) are among the most frequent ones, although “the number of neurodegenerative diseases is currently estimated to be a few hundred” (Przedborski et al., 2003). All these pathologies produce correlates in speech at different levels: in fluency, in prosody, in articulation or in phonation. Speech technologies offer computer solutions to evaluate objectively detected anomalies in each level, adding statistical robustness, which makes them suitable for their clinical and rehabilitative application. The present issue is devoted to briefly review the characteristics of the diseases mentioned before, defining the foundations of the correlate features present in each one. Some computer solutions available in detecting and monitoring illness progress are reviewed in the contributions of different research groups working in this field.


speech processing; neurologic diseases; computer-aided diagnosis; Alzheimer Disease; Parkinson Disease; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Myasthenia Gravis

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