The One Show - iPhone app helps Parkinson's stammer

BBC1 programme The One Show will tonight (2 September) feature Mark Wilson, 53, from Somerset, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's 14 months ago.

The recent discovery of a phone app, DAF Assistant, is helping him manage speech problems as a symptom of his condition.

Mark's daughter got married in August. He feared that, as father-of-the-bride, his stammer would hamper his speech on his daughter's big day, so he sought help from Weston General Hospital in Somerset.

Speech therapist Mike Richards was already aware of electronic technology called Delayed Auditory Feedback - which can help Parkinson's patients improve their speech patterns.

But with DAF devices costing around £2,000, continued online research resulted in Mike discovering the inexpensive app.

It's thought that DAF devices help by relaying what is being said with a millisecond's delay. This tiny delay then interrupts the feedback and tricks the brain into thinking it's speaking in unison with the machine.

Mark describes the discovery "like flicking a switch", and said it had restored his confidence.

This BBC News video shows Mark using the app.

DAF techniques could only help about a third of people who stammer, but if effective, the change is 'instant'. Mike Richards has since been recognised in a letter from the Prime Minister.

Kieran Breen, our Director of Research and Development, welcomes news of this innovative and inexpensive app: "The current research project into assistive technologies we're funding with King's College London will no doubt benefit from this news.

"We're sure that developments in these emerging technologies will make a huge difference to some people living with the condition."

Do you use assistive technology to help manage your Parkinson's symptoms? Share your story here or email

The One Show is on tonight, at 7pm on BBC 1.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.