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Dysarthria in early Parkinson's disease

Konstantopoulos, Konstantinos; (2004) Dysarthria in early Parkinson's disease. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The aim of the present study was threefold. First, to examine the incidence of dysarthria in patients in the beginning of Parkinson's disease by using a standardised test (Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment/FDA) and an intelligibility assessment tool. Second, to identify differences in speech and in measures of phonation between the Parkinsonian group and a matched control geriatric group using the FDA and electrolaryngography. Finally, to identify the effect of medication on speech and phonation in the dysarthric Parkinsonian group. The results showed that 8 out of 12 (66%) Parkinsonian subjects exhibited lower scores in the FDA compared to controls. Qualitative differences between the two groups were found in the isolated movements of the articulators but not in running speech and speech intelligibility. An improvement in the FDA scoring was found 3-3.5 months after medication. This improvement focused on the areas of tongue and lips and was accompanied with significant increases in intelligibility. No differences in measures of phonation were found either between the two groups or in the same group after medication. The above results suggest that in the beginning of Parkinson's disease, dysarthria is expressed as slowness and may be related to the primary diagnostic symptom of bradykinesia. Due to the small sample and the lack of dosage control, the significance of these findings appears to be inconclusive and warrants further investigation. Future research should employ instrumental quantitative measures on isolated movements of the articulators that may correlate with running speech and will aim to find clinical markers of speech in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Dysarthria in early Parkinson's disease
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055767
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