At TCU, Dr. Watts directs the Laryngeal Function Laboratory, which serves as the research arm of Endeavor Parkinsonology. Dr. Watts’ research is committed to creating new knowledge through research to improve how we assess and treat voice and swallowing impairments experienced by people with PD.

RESEARCH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: We are investigating the effects of physical activity on inflammation in Parkinson’s Disease (TCU IRB#2024-59).  Neuroinflammation is one of the theories attempting to explain the onset and progression of PD. Our aim is to investigate how levels of physical activity (“exercise”) influence inflammation in the body by measuring levels of an anti-inflammatory protein called Clusterin, which we are able to measure in blood samples. We are recruiting volunteers regardless of your activity level. For more information about volunteering please contact Kailie McGee at


The overarching goal of this line of research is to expand human knowledge of how Parkinson’s disease (PD) effects laryngeal function in voice and swallowing to inform the development of more effective treatments to rehabilitate and/or sustain those functions. We are specifically interested in how voice and swallowing impairments manifest in different clinical phenotypes (e.g., subtypes) of PD. Our research investigates how voice and swallowing are influenced by PD tremor phenotype (e.g., tremor dominant vs. non-tremor dominant), age of onset (e.g., late onset vs. younger onset), sex, and years post-onset. A major aim of this research is to increase our understanding of how and why laryngeal function in voice and swallowing is impaired heterogeneously (differently) across the large population of people with PD.


Watts CR, Thijs Z, King A, Carr JC, Porter R. (2023). A pilot study of the effect of a non-contact boxing exercise intervention on respiratory pressure and phonation aerodynamics in people with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Thijs Z, Zhang Y, Van Lierde K, Vanryckeghem M, Watts CR (2023). Self-perceived affective, behavioral, and cognitive reactions associated with voice use in people with Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology.

Dumican M, Watts CR, Drulia T, Zhang Y. (2023). Dysphagia presentation, airway invasion, and gender differences in a clinically based sample of people with Parkinson’s disease. Dysphagia, 38(1):353-366.

Watts CR, Zhang Y (2022). Progression of Self-Perceived Speech and Swallowing Impairment in Early-Stage Parkinson’s Disease: Longitudinal Analysis of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. Journal of Speech, Language, Hearing Research, 65(1): 146-158.

Thijs Z, Watts CR (2022). Perceptual Characterization of Voice Quality in Non-Advanced Stages of Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Voice,6(2): 293.e11−293.e18

Dumican M, Watts CR (2022). Swallow Safety and Laryngeal Kinematics: A Comparison of Dysphagia between Parkinson’s Disease and Cerebrovascular Accident. Journal of Parkinson’s disease,2022;12(7):2147-2159.

Thijs Z, Zhang Y, Van Lierde K, Vanryckeghem M, Watts CR (2022). Partner Perception of Affective, Behavioral, and Cognitive Reactions to Voice Use in People with Parkinson’s Disease. Clinical Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 9(7)

Kim J, Watts CR (2021). A Comparison of Swallow-Related Submandibular Contraction Amplitude and Duration in People with Parkinson’s Disease and Healthy Controls. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

Panzone L, Watts CR. (2020). Regulation of Transglottal Airflow in Speakers with Parkinson’s Disease. Journal of Voice, 34 (6): 961.e1-961.e7.

Dumican M, Watts CR (2020). Predicting Airway Invasion Using Screening Tools and Laryngeal Kinematics in People with Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

Burk B, Watts CR (2019). The Effect of Parkinson’s Disease Tremor Phenotype on Cepstral Peak Prominence and Transglottal Airflow in Vowels and Speech. Journal of Voice, 33(4): 580.e11-580.e19.

Watts CR (2016). A Retrospective Study of Long-Term Treatment Outcomes for Reduced Vocal Intensity in Hypokinetic Dysarthria. BMC Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders. 16:2. eCollection doi: 10.1186/s12901-016-0022-8.

Rousseau B, Watts CR. (2002). Susceptibility of speakers with Parkinson disease to delayed auditory feedback. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 10(1): 41-49.

Watts CR, VanRyckeghem M. (2001). Laryngeal dysfunction in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. BMC Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders, (1).

Watts CR, Dagenais P. (2001). Effects of attentional load on speech rate reduction in subgroups of speakers with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 9(1): 55-61.

Dr. Watts is currently seeking people with PD to volunteer as participants in his research. If you have an interest in helping Endeavor Parkinsonology discover ways to fight against PD through research, please contact Dr. Watts at