A new study from MIT showed that examining keystrokes as a person types on a computer keyboard can reveal information about the state of their motor function to help diagnose Parkinson’s disease. MIT researchers developed software that can gauge the speed at which a typist is tapping the keyboard to detect patterns. In a paper published in Scientific Reports, the researchers said they found that their algorithm could distinguish between typing done in the middle of the night, when sleep deprivation impairs motor skills, and typing performed when typists are fully rested. The team is now planning a larger study of Parkinson’s patients to determine if the algorithm can also distinguish people who have disease from those who don’t. 

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