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Current methods for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Dementia include structured questionnaires, structured interviews, and various cognitive tests. Language difficulties are a major problem in dementia as linguistic skills break down. Current methods do not provide robust tools to capture the true nature of language deficits in spontaneous speech. Early detection of Alzheimer's Dementia (AD) from spontaneous speech overcomes the limitations of earlier approaches as it is less time consuming, can be done at home, and is relatively inexpensive. In this work, we re-implement the existing NLP methods, which used CNN-LSTM architectures and targeted features from conversational transcripts. Our work sheds light on why the accuracy of these models drops to 72.92% on the ADReSS dataset, whereas, they gave state of the art results on the DementiaBank dataset. Further, we build upon these language input-based recurrent neural networks by devising an end-to-end deep learning-based solution that performs a binary classification of Alzheimer's Dementia from the spontaneous speech of the patients. We utilize the ADReSS dataset for all our implementations and explore the deep learning-based methods of combining acoustic features into a common vector using recurrent units. Our approach of combining acoustic features using the Speech-GRU improves the accuracy by 2% in comparison to acoustic baselines. When further enriched by targeted features, the Speech-GRU performs better than acoustic baselines by 6.25%. We propose a bi-modal approach for AD classification and discuss the merits and opportunities of our approach.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience


Frontiers Media SA

Publication Date