In future, the degenerative disorder of the nervous system Parkinson’s disease could be diagnosed over a simple phone call, thanks to research at Aalborg University (AU).
Mads Græsbøll Christensen, a professor of sound technology at AU, is busy developing technology that could help diagnose the incurable, but treatable, illness five years earlier than is possible today.
“The earlier you can diagnose the illness, the earlier you can begin treatment,” Christensen told DR Nyheder. “And, hence, the earlier researchers can find patient to study and perhaps better understand the disease and why it occurs.”
Christensen hopes to use the sound technology to make an app that measures patients’ voices and thus detect the small voice changes that are a symptom of Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s on the rise
Parkinson’s patients lose control of the muscles and therefore their voices as well. Normally, people have a constant pitch when speaking, but people suffering from Parkinson’s have a vibrating pitch.
The national Parkinson’s association Parkinsonsforeningen is pleased with the new research and hopes it will help researchers develop new medicine or methods of treatment that could postpone or entirely stop the disease.
In Denmark there are about 5,000 people suffering from Parkinson’s, but that number is on the rise due to the increase in elderly community.