Our Person of the Week for February 2, 2018

Kansas City's Morning News
Friday, February 2nd

Erin Smith, Kansas City's Morning News Person of the Week


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Everybody has something good they're really good act slipping and most famous for my family as I make this. Creamy white chicken chili. And then if I had exercise and then on the freckles or something to go along with Erin Smith. Teenager senior Shawnee mission west. And apparently a good cook Erin or any man whose pancakes are better. I might. Jilin Huber Iranian agents mom pancaked SEC enough though probably eight because Aaron had a really hard time getting out of bed on the week. And then we did say she was a teenager she's a girl end. She's okay gleaned. She. Likes to play or they can and earrings and all ashamed that. Girls like to do is bring the lion is one of the parents teachers. And it's a good thing that she in aaron's mom more able to give us some perspective because when we talk to aaron's. Sure we saw a teenager but we heard one of the most impressive young people we have ever met I create these privileges and are being accurate diagnostic tool for Parkinson's disease. Yeah seeing differences I discovered in spontaneous impose facial expressions and what to spontaneous and rehearsed facial expressions mean. Essentially any type of facial movements that we typically associate professor and emotions are expression such as a smile so it's an individual facial muscle movements that make up these expressions. Brenda when she came to you and said okay. I want to make an app for spontaneous in whose. Face of fresh facial expressions what do you say I think I gave her facial expression. Yeah. The inspiration for the whole thing came from perhaps the world's most famous parkinson's patient myself for your high school so about two years ago. I was watching video by the Michael. OK. I wondered if there could be medical significance in this and that's a toxic caretaker is in clinicians there reported similar observations and they're not tons years and for diagnosis. They'd always just been. Just got a subjective observation since she went looking for a way to make those subjective observations. Objective provable. Perhaps allowing parkinson's to be diagnosed earlier the weight Aron explains it the app works to waste it measures your spontaneous reactions to a series of emotional videos the second toughest test is. On the post facial expression test. For example there's shown a smiley face on a frowning face and then an age. Neutral taste. I was their sound these analogies they're supposed to deliberately replicate what ever facial expression edition I'm doesn't sound too complicated right perhaps even too simple to be accurate. Well being NS. She was right sum of their parts of the brain experienced earliest changes in parkinson's patients for the same parts involved acacia exception information. So the apple is designed to detect early changes in facial expressions then a doctor can follow up with further testing still skeptical. The app is right a lot of the time so currently has an active scene 88%. And I definitely think that I can improve from here but Erin in her research for about a lot more than a Smartphone and her work is touching a lot of people in attracting some major players more on mass. In a moment. Aaron Smith is a Shawnee mission West High School senior. And we've just told you about the app she's developed and it's remarkable ability to detect early signs of Parkinson's disease but air and her researcher about a lot more than a Smart phone app they're touching a lot of people and attracting some major players. She's done small studies on our own. In the Michael. I'll be launching my next large study with the national parkinson's foundation. I'm which will be expanding to parkinson's and essential tremor patients. To determine if there is different so I markers between two she's eighteen years old she designs the studies she does her own coding to make sure the app works the way she wants it to her tee. Your Brenda box is airing his hands on when she first went up so what does it. Patients and family members she would come out and saying. Family members are noticed seeing a change but enough medical people. They weren't noticing those same changes. And she started working with the parkinson's patients and their caregivers. At ticket and a whole other couples when you actually. Experience and it's. In it makes it drills. There's just thousands of volunteers in the Kansas City area or across the United States are just so willing to do vote. Their time in their efforts to try to further. Research after it's a bit and also just hearing their individual stories. And the resilience of each of the patients the spouses or kids ever CD here. Thank you. Thank god for you yeah and is actually one of my favorite part has been I've gotten a lot of like handwritten letters from. On its patients are from patients family and so I always keep those. How long you've been teaching. I've been teaching for four years how many times over those four years does Aaron Smith walked through door. Once. I mean in all your years one of a kind. Plus she did happen on her sister yeah. What's your sister dip alone what she cured. So I actually my older sister when she was in high school did a lot parkinson's district which is where I first became familiar and fascinated with the idea. Erin is the third of five kids two older sisters two younger Brothers. And a mom who is raise the mall enjoy and says Aaron has been touched by so many lives during the last two years working on this project but she's touched many people to. He got a handwritten letter from one of the people that I had read your application. Can I make comments I think we'll grandfather might have been a grandmother that it has parkinson's and that was one thing that they commented on and he'll lie about your recent search and because of my personal experience of my ground pot. That's just about to face. And that application she mentioned I got an early to stand traders are really excited about and then and we need to hear back from a other colleges and march and then go ahead Sam and which colleges going on. I'm waiting to hear back from MIT in. And she says that in all humility she didn't even mention that she's a finalist to become a Jefferson scholar and you VA. Look it up it's beyond impressive. When I look at I don't. Salvage his air and that's something that's maybe things went fine and is specific Aaron it scares a lot of. So I'd say that my head over arching goal would be to ease human suffering and promotes. Connections than meaningful relationship. I actually like better than normal behavior. I wanna get into your mental event through management. And all that I chuckled and everything in every album just it's just be. All the accolades it and I get that feel the hard work and struggles and what accurately conspire. Fair enough but aaron's not just a teenager and not just a scientist sister for success story today Karen Smith. You're a person of the week.