*Phonation Study (May 2014- December 2014): Saturday afternoons

   Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative neurological disease with distinctive motor and non-motor symptoms and signs. Voice changes and unintelligible speech is a common feature occurring in 90% of PD patients. A form of speech therapy, known as the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT-LOUDTM), has been developed specifically for individuals with PD, and it is the only speech therapy proven effective in clinical trials. The LSVT-LOUDTM therapy is an intensive program of exercising the voice, focusing on “thinking loud and shouting loud” in order to rebuild motor learning and exercise all components needed to speak forcefully—take a deep breath, phonate loudly, and articulate deliberately. We are not intending to provide therapy.
Conventional acoustical analysis of voice samples has been used to document disorders or treatment-related improvement of Parkinsonian speech; however, the majority of these acoustic measures have not considered stability of the phonation analysis over time. A newly developed signal processing algorithms by A. Tsanas has shown the potential of early detection of voice changes in PD patients. The purpose of this study is to establish the utility of the Tsanas’ algorithms for detection of voice changes in phonation over time. This is important because a wide variance in the phonation results puts in question its reliability as an indicator of motor function ratings. The work proposed is interdisciplinary, bringing together as it does the practice of motor control assessment from phonation with the discipline of the electrical engineering in signal processing. Furthermore, we will record phonations from local PD and control subjects with the assistance of Jean Seward, our Community Service Partner.

*TWU/Seniors in Motion (Oct. 2010- Feb. 2012): 

"Fall Prevention",a year long research study to examine the effects of exercise in the age group of 55+ years of age in good general health. Projected number of subjects:100.

*UNT/Seniors in Motion (Aug. 2009-Feb. 2010): 

    “Community Fitness Program Benefiting Seniors and their Families: A Comprehensive Approach;” Pilot study completed in 2008

*TWU Biomechanics Department/Seniors In Motion  (Jan. 2010): 

     Participation of Seniors in Motion participants in an ongoing study using bi-directional hip machine and bone density. 

*Quality of Life Survey- Jan. 2010; Report on Participant Study.

     New participants of Seniors in Motion received the World Health Organization (WHO) quality of life questionnaire as part of the assessment process.  All Seniors in Motion participants are eligible for guidance and referral from our professional staff including social work.


-All staff members have completed the National Institute of Health training course, “Protecting Human Research Participants.” 

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