The diagnosis and early detection of the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease become much more within reach than it looks: just typing on a keyboard, either our computer, smart phone or tablet, could tell if we have this degenerative disease.
It's tough making an accurate diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in its early stages. There are no standard lab tests that can detect Parkinson's. A group of MIT researchers has developed an algorithm capable of detecting micro fluctuations in the way a person type on the keyboard. A first step that could pave the way to achieve early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
If our nervous system is functioning normally typing maintain a steady rhythm. If irregular and intermittent rhythms are detected during the process, this could be a clear sign of a motor failure associated with the nervous system. The algorithm allows to precisely detect early changes that imperceptible to the naked eye by capture timing information (key hold time) from the keystroke.
In fact, the study focused on the effects of fatigue, whether a person was sleep deprived or well rested. By analyzing preliminary results, researchers determined that it could work as a diagnostic tool for Parkinson's. Further studies will be needed to validate these very encouraging initial results.