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LISTEN: Exploring new research into Parkinson’s disease

By Sarah Willey

UMass Medical School Communications

febrero 24, 2020

In a new Voices of UMassMed podcast, Kara Smith, MD, assistant professor of neurology, talks about early warning signs of Parkinson’s disease and new developments in research. She said she is optimistic that scientists will find a cure in her lifetime.

“It’s kind of mind boggling how many different approaches are being studied in research, and it’s hard to know which ones are going to be the ones that really make it, but there’s a lot of promise,” said Dr. Smith, a movement disorder specialist with UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Smith described what she referred to as an overlooked aspect of Parkinson’s disease: When a patient loses his or her ability to communicate with the world through speech, gestures and expressions. She is embarking on new research to explore how a patient’s voice could predict risk for Parkinson’s disease.

“We will be bringing subjects in for an extensive battery of voice and language and communication tests over a few hours, and then concurrently giving them some tests of their cognitive function and their motor function so that we can understand better the correlations between the speech and the motor and cognitive aspects of the disease,” Smith said.

To listen to the new Voices of UMassMed podcast, visit: umassmed.edu/news/voices.

To be notified when a new episode of the podcast is available, subscribe on SoundCloud or iTunes.