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Effects of deep brain stimulation on speech in patients with Parkinson’s disease and dystonia

Tripoliti, E.; (2011) Effects of deep brain stimulation on speech in patients with Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Disorders affecting the basal ganglia can have a severe effect on speech motor control. The effect can vary depending on the pathophysiology of the basal ganglia disease but in general terms it can be classified as hypokinetic or hyperkinetic dysarthria. Despite the role of basal ganglia on speech, there is a marked discrepancy between the effect of medical and surgical treatments on limb and speech motor control. This is compounded by the complex nature of speech and communication in general, and the lack of animal models of speech motor control. The emergence of deep brain stimulation of basal ganglia structures gives us the opportunity to record systematically the effects on speech and attempt some assumptions on the role of basal ganglia on speech motor control. The aim of the present work was to examine the impact of bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and globus pallidus internus (GPi-DBS) for dystonia on speech motor control. A consecutive series of PD and dystonia patients who underwent DBS was evaluated. Patients were studied in a prospective longitudinal manner with both clinical assessment of their speech intelligibility and acoustical analysis of their speech. The role of pre-operative clinical factors and electrical parameters of stimulation, mainly electrode positioning and voltage amplitude was systematically examined. In addition, for selected patients, tongue movements were studied using electropalatography. Aerodynamic aspects of speech were also studied. The impact of speech therapy was assessed in a subgroup of patients. The clinical evaluation of speech intelligibility one and three years post STN-DBS in PD patients showed a deterioration of speech, partly related to medially placed electrodes and high amplitude of stimulation. Pre-operative predictive factors included low speech intelligibility before surgery and longer disease duration. Articulation rather than voice was most frequently affected with a distinct dysarthria type emerging, mainly hyperkinetic-dystonic, rather than hypokinetic. Traditionally effective therapy for PD dysarthria had little to no benefit following STN-DBS. Speech following GPi-DBS for dystonia did not significantly change after one year of stimulation. A subgroup of patients showed hypokinetic features, mainly reduced voice volume and fast rate of speech more typical of Parkinsonian speech. Speech changes in both STN-DBS and GPi-DBS were apparent after six months of stimulation. This progressive deterioration of speech and the critical role of the electrical parameters of stimulation suggest a long-term effect of electrical stimulation of basal ganglia on speech motor control.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Effects of deep brain stimulation on speech in patients with Parkinson’s disease and dystonia
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Neurology

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