Mar 27, 2018
There is no single, definitive test for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The diagnosis is made by an expert clinician who asks questions about a person’s health and medical history and observes their movement. But an enterprising high school student is working on a system that analyzes movements of facial muscles to make an early diagnosis and track Parkinson’s progression. Erin Smith of Shawnee Mission West High School in the Kansas City, Kansas, area adapted a real-time facial expression recognition system to detect “facial masking,” a common Parkinson’s symptom caused by stiff facial muscles. Her system, called FacePrint, uses a web camera or smartphone to analyze facial movements and compare them to a database of people with and without Parkinson’s.