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Voice testing 'can diagnose Parkinson's'

Voice testing 'can diagnose Parkinson's'
20th April 2010

Scientists in Israel claim to have made a significant breakthrough in the early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

According to a study published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, careful analysis can identify the changes in a person's voice that are caused by the condition.

These changes are not detectable to human ears, but the technology has proved very efficient at picking them up just from a few sentences, the researchers from Haifa University claim.

As a result, the study claims that Parkinson's can be identified earlier, before the more obvious symptoms take hold.

Commenting on the findings, Parkinson's UK director of research Dr Kieran Breen said: "Measuring these tiny vocal changes may not only help us identify people with Parkinson's much earlier.

"This technology could also help us to track changes in peoples' response to treatment as the condition progresses."

Finding ways to diagnosis the disease earlier will continue to be a key part of research into the condition, he added.

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