Can singing improve voice quality in people with Parkinson’s disease? Elizabeth Tracey reports


People with Parkinson’s disease often lose voice volume, making it difficult to communicate with others. Alex Pantelyat, director of the Center for Music and Medicine at Johns Hopkins, says one recent study at the center has demonstrated the benefits of singing to help.

Pantelyat: What we tried to do for the Parkinsonic study was to see if group singing once a week could actually improve, objectively, the voice volume, in other words loudness, in people who were singing. Under the direction of a professional choir director half of the people started to sing right away, while others did the support group, and after 12 weeks of this we crossed people over. We found that there were objective voice loudness improvements when we looked at people reading a standard paragraph, and when we had people describe a standard picture. There were actually some sustained benefits including in voice volume.  :33

And people enjoyed singing, too. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.