Can detecting voice changes improve early Parkinson’s diagnosis?

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Author: Sophie BatesPublished: 23 April 2020

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Researchers at Monash University, Australia, are studying the vocal cords of people with Parkinson’s to determine whether measuring voice changes – an early sign of the condition – could improve early diagnosis. 

As part of the trial, 31 people with different severities of Parkinson’s and control participants will be assessed using a CT scan. The scanner takes 50 snapshots to measure the movement of the vocal cords. 

Dr Andrew Ma and Professor Dominic Thyagarajan, two neuroscientists and researchers in the trial, hope the use of CT scans could result in Parkinson’s diagnoses up to eight years before current clinical diagnoses.

Dr Ma said: “It’s probably too late to start treatment by the time we can clinically diagnose Parkinson’s… If we can get an early diagnostic test, then maybe those treatments that have so far shown no benefit can actually help.”

For more information on Parkinson’s research please visit the EPDA website.


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