Tuesday 19th November 2019

    Your voice could be a clue to your health


    Evolution has bestowed on humans a unique combination of bone, muscle and cartilage to give us exquisite control over the sounds we make, from secretive whispers to belting arias. Our voices allow us to express a vast range of thought and feeling. But they also offer clues to the inner workings of our bodies.

    Researchers at the Universidad Politechnica de Madrid, Johns Hopkins University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe that we may be able to use the voice to diagnose Parkinson's disease, an illness that is notoriously difficult to detect. Neither lab tests nor brain imaging can definitively identify it at present, but since the disease disrupts all of the body’s motor systems, it may often be discernible in speech. These scientists are analysing the range of sound frequencies that patients produce to see whether the changes that Parkinson's causes in our muscles also affect how subjects talk. They have developed a technique that, they claim, can identify nearly 90% of previously diagnosed Parkinson's sufferers, more accurate than any other single test.

    Continued here