This smartphone app can spot rare Huntington’s disease

London: A team of researchers has created a smartphone application which helps recognise early symptoms of a rare Huntington’s disease.

Designed in cooperation with physicians and Huntington Disease Association, the app on Google Play provides user with a series of tests in order to check the presence of the symptoms.

If the probability of symptoms is detected, the user is informed and encouraged to contact medical professionals for further advice, said the researchers from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania.

“Our app is aimed at the early detection – we are attempting to diagnose the disease when visually there are no symptoms”, says Andrius Lauraitis, KTU doctoral student.

Huntington’s disease, caused by an inherited defect in a single gene, is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems and loss of thinking ability.

If a parent has the gene, each son or daughter has a one in two chance of inheriting the disease.

Early signs and symptoms of the disease can include irritability, depression, small involuntary movements, poor coordination and trouble learning new information or making decisions.

The “Neural Impairment Test Suite” app is a collection of various tests available to smartphone users on Google Play.

The tasks on the app are designed to evaluate the user’s motor, cognitive skills to detect voice and energy consumption disorders.

The app can also be used for the evaluation of other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The researchers are planning to expand the concept and the applicability of the prediction model so as it could be used for other diseases.