Richardson and Sommers present research at World Parkinson Congress

University of Massachusetts Communication Disorders faculty Kelly Richardson and Lisa Sommers attended the World Parkinson's Congress in Portland, OR

From left: Kelly Richardson and Lisa Sommers present their research
at the 2016 World Parkinson Congress

December 22, 2016

Communication Disorders faculty Kelly Richardson, Assistant Professor, and Lisa Sommers, Clinical Assistant Professor, traveled to Portland, OR to attend the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) on September 20-23. The WPC, held every three years, brings together scientists and researchers, physicians, and people with Parkinson’s disease to share the latest science, medicine and other initiatives related to the neurological illness.

The pair presented a poster with findings from a recent study examining the effect singing in a choir had on the speech and voice characteristics of Parkinson’s patients. The study found participants experienced significant improvements in speech volume, articulation, speech intelligibility, and quality of life.

“People were finally able to speak on the phone again,” Richardson noted in a recent Neurology Now article. “It was the first time some of them had called their grandchildren in years.”

The next WPC will take place in Kyoto, Japan, in 2019.