Parkinson’s in the news: June

Global update

Author: Scarlett SherriffPublished: 30 June 2022

Parkinson's LifePrep: Parkinson's LifeCook: Parkinson's LifeServes:

a person having their blood pressure taken

We round up some of this month’s Parkinson’s disease news stories from around the world – including a study on a new games-based approach to speech therapy and Michael J Fox’s honorary Oscar

Medicine could help bring blood pressure-raising antibodies back to normal levels for people with Parkinson’s

A blood pressure medication called candesartan may impact Parkinson’s progression, according to researchers in Spain. Antibodies that attack the bodily system responsible for regulating blood pressure are found to be higher in Parkinson’s. These antibodies also increase inflammation and damage nerve cells, leading to symptoms of the condition.

The study, published in the journal ‘Nature’, found that candesartan – which lowers blood pressure by blocking the action of the antibodies – led to reduced nerve cell damage and inflammation in rat models of Parkinson’s.

Michael J Fox to be awarded honorary Academy Award for work as Parkinson’s activist

In a recent announcement, the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that Michael J Fox is to be awarded an honorary Oscar for his Parkinson’s advocacy. Following his diagnosis at the age of 29, the Back to the Future star has campaigned for the condition, founding the Michael J Fox Foundation in 2000.

In a statement, Academy President Daniel Rubin said: “Michael J Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions.”

The length of a person’s vocal tract could help identify Parkinson’s

A new study from researchers in Australia has found that estimating the length of a person’s vocal tract – the area from the nose and nasal cavity down to the throat’s vocal cords – could help in the identification of Parkinson’s.

The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal ‘Nature’, conducted machine learning analyses of two vocal data sets – including one of Spanish speakers and one of Australian speakers. The investigation found that variations in vocal tract length could be used to differentiate the speech of those living with Parkinson’s compared to a control group.

App for voice ‘Games’ may aid at home speech therapy

Researchers based in Portugal have proposed a game-based approach to helping people with Parkinson’s manage hypokinetic dysarthria – a speech disorder which can lead to challenges such as a stutter, quiet or monotone voice or difficulty starting sentences.

The approach, which is designed to keep patients motivated through their speech therapy and to encourage more practise and greater uptake, was published in the journal ‘Studies in Health Technology and Informatics’.

Read more:

Parkinson’s in the news: May

Parkinson’s in the news: April

Go Back

Share this story


Related articles

100 For Parkinson's lead

Special reports

High blood pressure, arthritis and depression are most common conditions in Parkinson’s patients

“We cannot gather too much data”

Speech therapy

PD in Practice

6 tips for improving speech in Parkinson’s

How to get the most from speech therapy sessions with PwPs

Marty Mcfly Delorean


21 motivational Michael J Fox quotes on living with Parkinson’s disease

Inspiring MJ Fox quotes to mark ‘Back to the Future’ anniversary