First for early Parkinson’s detection

A Charles Sturt University (CSU) PhD research student has discovered a new technique that uses artificial intelligence to accurately detect early Parkinson’s Disease in patients.


In a world-first for Parkinson’s diagnosis, Mr Warwick Adams, a School of Computing and Mathematics PhD student, said his research found a method to analyse the patterns in a person’s finger movement as they type on a computer.


The test has a 97 per cent accuracy rate, which significantly out-performs general practitioners, who often have quite a high misdiagnosis rate of Parkinson’s.


Mr Adams explains, “The problem is that there are no laboratory tests and, until now, diagnosis has relied on observation of a person’s movement where the initial signs can be quite subtle.”


“The significance of this new technique is that it’s not only much more accurate, but it can be used in a home environment and does not require supervision by a medical specialist.” Mr Adams said.


Currently half-way through his doctorate in Information Technology, Mr Adams is completing a thesis on the detection of movement-related diseases using human-computer interaction (HCI).


Mr Adams said that his invention will be developed into a full diagnostic suite that can be accessed via the web. He added that, once developed, it has enormous world-wide commercial potential, but as a 68 year old retiree he is more concerned with giving back to the community.


“The benefits will be an earlier detection of Parkinson’s, as well as the ability to monitor the effects of medication and the progression of the disease over time”, Mr Adams said.


Aside from this research he will conduct two other studies – one to investigate tremors and the final being a longitudinal study of disease progression over a several year period.


Parkinson’s Disease currently affects 70 000 Australians, primarily over the age of 60.


The full peer-reviewed paper is published in the PLOS ONE journal at


12 December 2017.