Speech disorder is one of the most sensitive motor markers in the initial stage of Parkinson's disease.
Why this matters
The underlying mechanisms of speech abnormalities in Parkinson's disease are poorly understood, particularly in females. This unique study is the first to estimate the prevalence of dysarthria in a large sample of people with de novo Parkinson's disease. The findings demonstrate that speech abnormalities represent a common and early marker of motor abnormalities, highlighting the need for automated speech assessment in clinical trials. Ultimately, distinctive patterns of speech disorder could act as prognostic markers of Parkinson’s disease progression.