Little Parkinson’s Voice Initiative
Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s destroy the ability to move; there are over 6 million worldwide with the disease, but no cure. Until we have a cure, and indeed, to find a cure, we need objective tests. Unfortunately, there are no biomarkers (e.g. blood tests).
Current objective symptom tests for Parkinson’s are expensive, time-consuming, and logistically difficult, so mostly, they are not done outside trials. What is exciting though: voice is affected as much by Parkinson’s as limb movements and Dr. Max Little, who is a Wellcome Trust-MIT Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed the technology to test for symptoms using voice recordings alone.
This could enable some radical breakthroughs, because voice-based tests are as accurate as clinical tests, but additionally, they can be administered remotely, and patients can do the tests themselves. Also, they are high speed (take less than 30 seconds), and are ultra low cost (they don’t involve expert staff time). So, they are massively scalable. The Parkinson’s Voice Initiative aims to record 10,000 voices across the world.
Whether you are healthy or living with Parkinson’s, all you have to do is record your voice and that information is collected to build a system to screen for and monitor the symptoms of this debilitating disease.
The contact number for the U.S. is 1-857-284-8035.
To find more information and phone numbers for 8 other countries, go to www.parkinsonsvoice.org