News Release

AI-driven tool for distinguishing Lewy body dementia via changes in vocal emotional expression

Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Tsukuba

Tsukuba, Japan—Lewy body dementia is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer's disease. It progresses faster and has a broader range of symptoms compared with other forms of dementia, significantly decreasing patients' quality of life (QoL). However, because of overlapping symptoms with other diseases such as Alzheimer'sand the limited availability of specialized physicians and facilities, Lewy body dementia often goes undiagnosed.

Reduced emotional expression—a symptom typical in patients with dementia—affect QoL, e.g., by impairing daily communication and negatively impacting mental health. Despite its importance, no studies have objectively and quantitatively investigated emotional expression in individuals with Lewy body dementia.

Herein, voice data were collected during story reading from individuals with Lewy body dementia and Alzheimer's disease and compared with those from cognitively unimpaired older adults (control group). Vocal emotional expression was quantitatively compared using a deep learning-based emotion recognition model. Results revealed that the Lewy body dementia group exhibited more negative and calmer emotional expressions and less overall expressiveness than the Alzheimer's disease and control groups. Additionally, this reduction was associated with cognitive impairment and insular cortex atrophy, both being typical in individuals with Lewy body dementia. Furthermore, automated analysis of vocal emotional expressions demonstrated the potential of vocal emotional expression to differentiate individuals with Lewy body dementia from other groups.

Using deep neural networks to analyze vocal emotional expression can potentially facilitate early detection and delivery of appropriate care for Lewy body dementia.

This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, KAKENHI [grant numbers 19H01084 and 21K12153].


Original Paper

Title of original paper:
Vocal expression of emotions discriminates dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring



Professor ARAI, Tetsuaki
Institute of Medicine, University of Tsukuba

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Institute of Medicine

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