Modeltalker has been around since at least the early 90s ... Modeltalker is a company that, for free, provides people with a synthetic version of their own voice and the software that lets users convert any text they want into that voice. It is continually updating it's software and in beta stages. But for people with onset neurological diseases that threaten to rob them of the ability to speak, Modeltalker will provide them with an 1800 word list to read. From that list, it will deliver a software program that contains their voice, the software and the tools to adjust the voice to make it as natural as possible. At some point, the company will make it product public. There are many synthetic voice programs, but only Modeltalker can make a synthetic voice out of your voice. For now, people can get a free version.
Thirty-nine year-old Andrew Johnson demonstrates the effect of Deep Brain Stimulation on the motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.
The character actor has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. Bob Hoskins to retire. He has announced his retirement at the age of 69.
The Brain on Trial. Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.
"We may someday find that many types of bad behavior have a basic biological explanation—as has happened with schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression, and mania."[more inside]
Cul de Sac is a daily newspaper cartoon by DC-area artist Richard Thompson (previously). In July of 2009, Thompson announced on his blog that he had been diagnosed with Parkinsons's disease. Earlier this year, friends of Thompson launched Team Cul de Sac, a fundraising project for Parkinson's research. The project has been accepting donations of artwork by cartoonists, to be published and sold in a book later this year. One recent donation to Team Cul de Sac is particularly noteworthy: a brand new painting by Bill Watterson. [more inside]
Can an obscure disease from Guam explain the explain the appearance of neurological disorders near Marscoma Lake in New Hampshire? The only people thought to contract Lytico-Bodig were Chamorros born before 1961 and related or married to particular familes living near the village of Umatac in Guam. It was theorised that it came from eating cycad seeds, but why were there no documented cases before the 1900s, and why are there no new cases on the island today? The popular author and neurologist Oliver Sacks visited the island and has continued to study the disease. He suggests that the cause is biomagnification of a toxin produced by cyanobacteria and concentrated twice - first by the cycads, and a second time in the flesh of the fruit bats. There are no new cases, he says, because the fruit bats have been nearly hunted to extinction.
M. Scott Peck: I'm a prophet, not a saint M. Scott Peck, author of the ultimate self-help manual, has Parkinson’s and his wife of 43 years has walked out. Interesting profile of M. Scott Peck, the best-selling self-help author who preached self-discipline and delayed gratification despite being a smoker, a drinker, and an adulterer. Via Bookslut. (Possibly nsfw drawing of nude woman.)
Ecstasy is being hailed as the key to better treatments for the Parkinson's disease, marking a complete turnaround from a few weeks ago when ecstasy was condemned for causing the disease.
The mind's eye becomes literal as a potential cure for Parkinsons.
They call them"echphenomena".It's interesting to discover years later that there's a formal name for something you experienced. Around age 7 to 8, I went through a period where I would repeat everything a second time just under my breath(I could also not hear my self doing so). It eventually went away on it's own, but for a while I was freaking people out. In my twenties I met two other people who underwent similar experiences. Most often, these behaviors seem to be associated with Tourrete's Syndrome or Parkinson's, although I suffer from neither. It is a fascinating phenomena, though. Have any other MeFite's been acquainted with this phenomena?
Pesticide linked to Parkinson's -- "A commonly used organic pesticide produced symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease when small amounts were injected into rats over time. It adds weight to theories that repeated exposure to low levels of agrochemicals may also be causing cumulative damage to the human brain." (BBC)