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Parkinson’s disease-associated dysarthria: prevalence, impact and management strategies

Authors Moya-Galé G, Levy ES

Received 24 December 2018

Accepted for publication 6 March 2019

Published 21 May 2019 Volume 2019:9 Pages 9—16


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Peter Hedera

Video abstract presented by Gemma Moya-Galé and Erika S Levy

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Gemma Moya-Galé,1 Erika S Levy2

1Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY, USA; 2Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder of neurological origin and is characterized by deficits in the execution of movement for speech. Close to 90% of individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) present with hypokinetic dysarthria, as evidenced by reduced vocal loudness, monotone, reduced fundamental frequency range, consonant and vowel imprecision, breathiness and irregular pauses. The presence of these speech deficits negatively impacts intelligibility, functional communication and, ultimately, social participation. The aims of this review are to 1) describe the nature of this motor speech disorder and its impact on the ability to communicate effectively, 2) provide an overview of medical approaches to dysarthria management and 3) review research on behavioral treatment techniques aimed at improving the intelligibility and quality of life of individuals with dysarthria secondary to PD. The delivery of speech treatment through telepractice is also examined, as this is a modality particularly well-suited to individuals with the mobility difficulties characteristic of PD. Finally, dysarthria management across languages is considered, representing a relevant new and under-researched area in motor speech disorders.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, motor speech disorders, dysarthria, speech therapy

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