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10 Nov | 2023

The SpeechDx study will generate a voice database for the exploration of speech-based biomarkers to aid in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation’s (ADDF) Diagnostic Accelerator (DxA) has announced the launch of SpeechDx, the first longitudinal study aimed at creating the largest repository of speech and voice data to help accelerate the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease. Recorded voice samples from the study will be paired with clinical and biomarker data to develop algorithms for the creation of new speech biomarkers. 

This study will span a three-year period across five clinical sites in the U.S., Spain, and Australia, including the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), research center of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation. The data will be collected from a diverse pool of 2,650 participants from all sites, ranging from cognitively healthy to early Alzheimer’s, and in three languages: English, Spanish, and Catalan. Participants will be given handheld tablets with the pre-installed SpeechDx app to capture their voice data. At the BBRC, a total of 400 people from the cohorts Alfa+ and Beta-AARC Study will be involved.

Speech is a complex cognitive process that contains important information about how your brain is functioning and scientific evidence shows us speech may hold the key to early, accurate, and non-invasive detection of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Howard Fillit, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF. “This study will help develop and validate voice-based biomarkers, expanding our existing arsenal of neuroimaging, peripheral blood, and digital biomarkers—all of which are crucial to delivering the right drugs to the right patients at the right time.

SpeechDx is poised to develop a paired voice and clinical database that will provide the research community with harmonized data needed to generate speech-based diagnostic algorithms. These efforts will not only expand the existing portfolio of peripheral and digital biomarkers, but also contribute to accelerate the development of non-invasive and accessible biomarkers and diagnostic tools for the early detection of Alzheimer’s.  

The collected data will be stored via the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative’s (ADDI) platform, which will function as a digital repository and contain approximately 2,584 hours of voice data. As a member of the consortium, the BBRC will be one of the first research centers to have access to this global database. For more information about the SpeechDx study visit the website here or read the full press release