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Current Alzheimer Research


ISSN (Print): 1567-2050
ISSN (Online): 1875-5828

Research Article

Temporal Speech Parameters Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment in Different Languages: Validation and Comparison of the Speech-GAP Test® in English and Hungarian

Author(s): János Kálmán*, Davangere P. Devanand, Gábor Gosztolya, Réka Balogh, Nóra Imre, László Tóth, Ildikó Hoffmann, Ildikó Kovács, Veronika Vincze and Magdolna Pákáski

Volume 19, Issue 5, 2022

Published on: 21 June, 2022

Page: [373 - 386] Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/1567205019666220418155130

Price: $65


Background: The development of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology allows the analysis of temporal (time-based) speech parameters characteristic of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, no information has been available on whether the analysis of spontaneous speech can be used with the same efficiency in different language environments.

Objective: The main goal of this international pilot study is to address the question of whether the Speech-Gap Test® (S-GAP Test®), previously tested in the Hungarian language, is appropriate for and applicable to the recognition of MCI in other languages such as English.

Methods: After an initial screening of 88 individuals, English-speaking (n = 33) and Hungarianspeaking (n = 33) participants were classified as having MCI or as healthy controls (HC) based on Petersen’s criteria. The speech of each participant was recorded via a spontaneous speech task. Fifteen temporal parameters were determined and calculated through ASR.

Results: Seven temporal parameters in the English-speaking sample and 5 in the Hungarian-speaking sample showed significant differences between the MCI and the HC groups. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis clearly distinguished the English-speaking MCI cases from the HC group based on speech tempo and articulation tempo with 100% sensitivity, and on three more temporal parameters with high sensitivity (85.7%). In the Hungarian-speaking sample, the ROC analysis showed similar sensitivity rates (92.3%).

Conclusion: The results of this study in different native-speaking populations suggest that changes in acoustic parameters detected by the S-GAP Test® might be present across different languages.

Keywords: Mild cognitive impairment, neurocognitive disorder, language, speech analysis, temporal parameters, early recognition.

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