Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Does Parkinson’s Affect Speech

Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

How does speech therapy help Parkinson’s patients?

Parkinson’s Disease has associated speech and swallowing difficulties.

SPEECH: The name for the type of speech problem associated with Parkinsons disease is dysarthria. Dysarthria is a general term that refers to an entire group of speech disorders which result from impaired muscular control of speech production.

VOICE: Loss of volume in voice can affect patient’s with Parkinson’s. Overall loss of voice volume can be one of the first symptoms of hypokinetic dysarthria. The physiologic basis for decreased ability to speak at an acceptable level of loudness is rigidity and/or stiffness of muscles of breathing, since exhaled air is the power behind our voice. Stiffness in the breathing muscles also impairs voice volume, as these muscles normally are elastic and therefore can move with variable force and speed

SWALLOWING difficulties are also associated with PD. Because the disease may disrupt the normal sensations in the throat, some patients with Parkinson’s may not be aware if food or liquid goes down the wrong way or gets stuck in the throat.

B Feeding Modifications And Drooling

Adaptive utensils may be helpful for promoting and extending independent eating. Later-stage PD may be accompanied by dementia, which complicates management of feeding and swallowing, as patients may be unable to follow directions for some compensatory strategies. Patients also may be unable to feed themselves, necessitating a trained feeder. Feeders should be trained to monitor the safety of each swallow as well speed and duration of meal. Because patients with PD may take longer to swallow, a longer mealtime should be allowed. Relatedly, for patients with reduced pharyngeal wall contraction and posterior tongue base retraction or who demonstrate impulsive feeding behavior, taking too much food too rapidly can result in increased risk of aspiration owing to collection of food in the pharynx. Smaller bites at a slower rate should be encouraged. Enteral feeding by means of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy may improve quality of life by providing nutritional support., For patients who are able, PEG does not preclude some nutrition by mouth for pleasure or nutrition.

Speaking Tasks And Speech Time Composition

Figure 6 shows the mean composition of the utterance for the two different speaking tasks in PD and HC speakers.

Figure 6. Mean speech time composition in PD and HC productions . PD, Parkinson’s disease HC, healthy control.

As the graph in the figure shows, no significant differences were observed between the two groups of speakers in terms of speech time composition. In the reading task, percentages are very similar in PD and HC in the case of monologs, PD productions are characterized by a slightly higher percentage of silence and of disfluency .

As expected, the most evident result is related to the effect of the speaking task on the composition of the utterance: the mean increase of the percentage of disfluency in the monologs of both groups of speakers in comparison with the reading tasks and the subsequent reduction of the fluent speech percentage.

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What Can Be Done To Help

Those who have Parkinsons have gone their whole lives with perfect speech, and now in their sixties, they must learn how to cope with the disease and speak again. As people begin to have problems with their speech, it is common that they begin speech therapy. Speech Language Pathologists can work with them to identify problems and find a solution. Along with therapy, many Speech Easy devices are recommended to help with the stuttering and get their speech back to normal.

V Management Of Dysphagia


Because lack of awareness of swallowing difficulty as well as silent aspiration are not uncommon in PD, it is critical to monitor weight and provide counseling regarding signs and symptoms of swallowing difficulty even to individuals who report no swallowing difficulties. For patients with documented swallowing difficulty, regular evaluation should help to anticipate problems and put strategies in place to reduce the likelihood of malnutrition, dehydration, and pulmonary problems.

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What Type Of Healthcare Professional Helps People With Speech Problems From Parkinsons Disease

If you have speech and voice problems, see a speech-language therapist. Your primary healthcare provider can help you find a therapist in your local area. Some speech-language pathologists have specialized training that focuses on training people with Parkinsons disease to amplify their voice. This is called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment.

Speech-language therapists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat speech, language and swallowing disorders. If you have Parkinsons disease, a speech-language pathologist can help you:

  • Maintain as many communication skills as possible. Teach you techniques to conserve energy, including using nonverbal communication skills.
  • Introduce you to assistive devices and techniques to help improve your communication.
  • Recommend exercises to help you improve muscle strength and movements needed to improve your speech and communication options.

What Causes Cognitive Changes In People With Pd

One cause is a drop in the level of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is involved in regulating the bodys movements. However, the cognitive changes associated with dopamine declines are typically mild and restricted.

Other brain changes are likely also involved in cognitive decline in PD. Scientists are looking at changes in two other chemical messengers acetylcholine and norepinephrine as possible additional causes of memory and executive function loss in Parkinsons.

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How Can I Improve My Speech With Parkinson’s Disease

Speech-language pathologists can help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain as many communication skills as possible. They also teach techniques that conserve energy, including non-verbal communication skills. Speech-language pathologists are also available to:

  • Recommend appropriate communication technologies that will help with daily activities.
  • Treat all types of speech, language, and communication problems.
  • Evaluate swallowing function and recommend changes as necessary.

How Are Cognitive Problems Treated

2 – Speech problems and Parkinson’s disease

Much remains to be learned about the basic biology that underlies cognitive changes in PD. Researchers work towards the development of diagnostic tests to identify people who seem to be at greatest risk for cognitive changes and to differentiate cognitive problems in people with PD from those that occur in another disorder related but different known as dementia with Lewy bodies.

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What If I Have An Emergency How Will I Communicate

  • Use an intercom system or baby monitor to alert others that there is an emergency.
  • Use bells or buzzers if you are not able to speak. Use “codes” that signify urgency. For example, a tinkling bell may mean, “I’d like company” while an air-horn means there’s an emergency.
  • Carry a portable phone that is equipped with pre-programmed numbers.
  • Pre-program all of your telephones so they can automatically dial the necessary emergency number.
  • Consider a “life call” button if you spend time alone.

Show Sources

Davis Phinney And Kelsey Phinney Practice Vocal Exercises For Parkinson’s

In this 23-minute episode of The Parkinson’s Podcast, Davis Phinney and his daughter and podcast host, Kelsey Phinney, practice and explain some vocal warmup exercises before Davis sings a few pop songs. Davis’s voice gets louder and clearer over the course of the session and is a good demonstration of the benefit of speech therapy and daily practice of speech exercises, including singing, for those with Parkinson’s.

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What Can Professionals Do To Help

Speech and voice treatment has advanced significantly and some speech-language pathologists offer training programs specifically designed for people with Parkinsons. People learn specific strategies to speak more loudly and clearly. They also are taught how to recalibrate their own feedback systems to get a sense of how loudly they need to speak to be heard. By doing specific daily speech and voice exercises many people are able to relieve the symptoms of Parkinsons and keep talking stronger and longer.


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Seeking Help For Cognitive Changes


Cognitive change is a sensitive issue. In fact, the doctor is often as hesitant to address this subject as the person with PD is to ask about it. Sometimes, the doctor will delay discussing cognitive impairment out of concern for the person who is still coping with the shock of a new PD diagnosis or struggling with motor symptoms.

For this reason, the person with PD often needs to be the one to initiate the conversation. Tell your doctor if you or your loved one is experiencing problems that upset the family or cause interruptions at work.

Cognitive issues are never too mild to address with your care team. A doctor can provide ways to help, often, referring psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, speech or occupational therapist for further evaluation and assistance. The neuropsychological evaluation can be particularly useful, especially in the early stages of a cognitive problem. Having this baseline test can help the doctor determine whether future changes are related to medications, the progression of the PD itself or to other factors such as depression.

When reporting symptoms of mild cognitive impairment, the doctor will first want to rule out causes other than PD, such as Vitamin B-12 deficiency, depression, fatigue or sleep disturbances. It should be noted that PD does not cause sudden changes in mental functioning. If a sudden change occurs, the cause is likely to be something else, such as a medication side-effect.

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How Does Parkinson’s Affect The Bowel

Two out of three people with Parkinson’s disease suffer from constipation, and the symptom can occur long before the diagnosis is made. Constipation is one of the most common non-motor symptoms of this condition.

Many patients find it embarrassing to talk about their bowel problems, but it is important to seek help in managing constipation. Left untreated, constipation can lead to other problems. You may feelunwell and nauseous, exacerbating the constipation as you dont feel like eating or drinking.Constipation can also cause overactive bladder and urinary incontinence due to mechanical pressure on the bladder. Sometimes constipation makes it difficult to empty your bladder, and when urineremains in the bladder there is a risk of urinary tract infections.

We spoke to Ethan and Susan about their symptoms and how they manage it – here’s an excerpt from our free guides: “Bladder and Bowel dysfunction when you have Parkinson’s Disease”

Ethan’s story

Susan’s story

Female and male anatomy are different, and the effects of Parkinson’s disease may have different effects when it comes to bladder and bowel dysfunction.

The bladder and bowel also interact and effect the functioning of these processes. In these free guides, we look at the symptoms, effects and therapies available to manage this condition.

Bladder and Bowel dysfunction when you have Parkinson’s Disease

Difficulties Are Common But Can Be Managed

If you have Parkinsons disease , you probably notice that people ask you to repeat what you just said more than they used to. In addition, speaking clearly and intelligibly becomes a little more difficult when you have PD.

While the majority of people with PD experience some type of speech problems, few get treatment for those speech problems. This is unfortunate as research shows that effective treatments are available for speech, voice, and language problems in PD.

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Tip: Do I Have A Speech Or Voice Problem

These are statements many people have used to describe their voices and the effects of their voices on their lives. Choose the response that indicates how frequently you have the same experience. .

  • It is difficult for people to hear me0 1 2 3 4
  • People have difficulty understanding me in a noisy room0 1 2 3 4
  • My voice difficulties restrict personal and social life0 1 2 3 4
  • I feel left out of conversations because of my voice0 1 2 3 4
  • My voice problem causes me to lose income0 1 2 3 4
  • I feel as though I have to strain to produce voice0 1 2 3 4
  • The clarity of my voice is unpredictable0 1 2 3 4
  • My voice problem upsets me0 1 2 3 4
  • My voice problem makes me feel handicapped0 1 2 3 4
  • People ask, Whats wrong with your voice?0 1 2 3 4

To find your score, add up your answers. A score of 10 or higher indicates you might have a speech or voice problem that is affecting your quality of life and you should ask for a referral to a speech pathologist.

*Please note that not all content is available in both languages. If you are interested in receiving Spanish communications, we recommend selecting both” to stay best informed on the Foundation’s work and the latest in PD news.

What Are The Common Reasons That Someone With Pd May See A Speech

How Parkinson’s Affects Speech, Swallowing and Voice

Often people with PD are referred to an SLP by their physician when they begin to have difficulty communicating or swallowing. Unfortunately, by the time people receive an evaluation from a SLP they have likely been experiencing subtle symptoms for quite a while. People with PD as well as their family members and friends often start being aware of communication issues when the person with PDs voice becomes too soft to communicate effectively. The communication symptoms begin very gradually, so they may first experience difficulty projecting their voice in a noisy environment, or when ordering at a drive-thru window. Over time they begin to experience more and more issues being heard and understood by others. Some people may gradually develop some imprecise/slurred speech and/or a hoarse or breathy voice quality. Communication can also be negatively impacted by changes in nonverbal communication, such as reduced facial expression and speaking with a monotone inflection.

Swallowing issues are often not detected until the person with PD is coughing significantly during meals or struggling to chew and swallow food safely and efficiently. The changes in swallowing can also happen so gradually that people assume symptoms are just related to aging or some other external factor, when in reality, these changes are directly related to the sensory and motor issues associated with PD.

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Statistical Analysis Of Clinical And Speech Data

Independent samples t-test or chi-squared test was used to compare demographic data in PD and HC groups, as appropriate. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was performed on the two dependent variables of speech analysis , considering the kind of speaking task as within-subject factor and the group as a between-subjects factor . Post-hoc pairwise comparisons were used to compare PD and HC data in each speaking task and speech features in the two speaking conditions within each group . The level of significance was set as p< 0.05. Cohen’s d value was calculated to assess the effect size of pairwise comparisons using pooled variance.

Moreover, bivariate correlations were performed to test the association between the subscores of the UPDRS III and speech data. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were computed considering a p-value < 0.05 as statistically significant. The analyses were performed with SPSS version 23 .

Support Groups And Networking

There are many different types of support groups. But they can broadly be defined as a group of people who have something in common – in this context Parkinsons – who meet to discuss and exchange ideas and information, or voice concerns. The group may also include partners, family and/or carers.

Each group will be individual with varying activities, meeting places, opportunities and capabilities. Sometimes there is a trained leader, such as a counsellor or social worker, although many Parkinsons groups are run by people with the condition as well as experienced volunteers. Groups often meet once a month, but many meet more regularly.

Most members find participating in a group supportive and a good way to interact with others in a similar position. Many Parkinsons organisations have support groups. To find out about how groups operate in your own country contact your national Parkinsons association.

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How To Find A Speech Therapist

Tell your doctor If you are experiencing any changes in your speech or voice. Ask for a referral and a prescription for a speech evaluation and treatment. If you have not noticed changes in your speech, but a spouse, care partner or friend has: pay attention to their comments. The sooner you get a speech evaluation and start speech therapy, the better.

Speech therapists work in many settings, including hospitals, outpatient rehabilitation centers and private practice offices. To locate one in your area, contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at, or find a therapist certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment by visiting

Ideally, you should see a speech therapist face-toface for a complete voice and speech evaluation and treatment. However, if a speech therapist is not available in your area, LSVT LOUD the most researched voice treatment for people with PD is virtually offered in select states. The speech therapist interacts with you in your home or office live through your computer screen.

Learn more about speech and Parkinsons by reading our free book Speech and Swallowing. Order online at or by calling our Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO .

Closing The Gap For Voice Impairment In Parkinsons

Can Parkinson

Speech and voice impairments are common among those living with Parkinsons. As many as 90% of people with Parkinsons experience difficulties such as hypophonia or a more monotone, raspy or breathy voice . Speech can become less intelligible and can make communication difficult, especially if paired with decreased facial expressions . It comes as no surprise that speech and voice impairments can impact quality of life.

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Facial Expression Tone Of Voice And Body Language

We all use facial expression, tone of voice and body language to convey our thoughts and mood. Reduced communication using these important tools may mean that you are misunderstood, or your non-verbal expression may not match your verbal communication, which can lead to confusion.

A speech and language therapist can address strategies for supporting conversation, for example, practicing alternative ways to let people know that you have something to add to a discussion. Multidisciplinary team members may also advise on postural exercises to facilitate effective voice projection and greater control over body language.

Visual tools can give feedback on loudness, pitch and melody. Working on vocal pitch, stress and emphasis has been shown to improve intelligibility. There is also an increasing body of evidence showing the benefits of group singing sessions on communication skills in Parkinsons.

A physiotherapist will be able to help you with techniques and exercises to reduce rigidity and strengthen muscles to give you greater control over your body language.

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