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Resolving speech disorders in Parkinson disease: our clinical experience with voice therapy

Introduction: Varying degrees of voice and speech disorders may occur in the course of the Parkinson's disease (PD). Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT) is a specific method which has been developed for these disorders.

Materials and Methods: 15 registered Parkinson's patients of our clinic were enrolled in this study. The stage and the symptoms were evaluated by Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and the Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) staging scale. Voice samples were analysed with the comparison of the mean F0 values (Hz) and voice intensity (dB) levels prior to (pre-therapy) and 3 months after (post-therapy) administration the LSVT.

Results: Mean age of the patients were 67.2 ± 12.07 (min (44)-max (86)). There was a statistically significant improvement between the pre-therapy and the post-therapy mean Hz and dB levels (p=0.006 and p<0.001 respectively). There was no correlation was detected between the age, age onset, disease duration, UPDRS, H&Y Scale and the pre-therapy and post-therapy mean Hz or dB levels of the of the patients (p>0.05).

Conclusions: We aimed to improve our understanding of the importance of non-motor symptoms of the PD such as voice and speech problems. Consistent with the literature, the current study suggests that LSVT is an effective method to manage speech problems of PD.

Author(s): Asli Aksoy Gundogdu, Ayse Oznur Akidil, Dilcan Kotan