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For better or worse: the effect of levodopa on speech in Parkinson's disease

Ho, A. K., Bradshaw, J. L. and Iansek, R. (2008) For better or worse: the effect of levodopa on speech in Parkinson's disease. Movement Disorders, 23 (4). pp. 574-580. ISSN 0885-3185

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/mds.21899

Abstract/Summary

While the beneficial effect of levodopa on traditional motor control tasks have been well documented over the decades. its effect on speech motor control has rarely been objectively examined and the existing literature remains inconclusive. This paper aims to examine the effect of levodopa on speech in patients with Parkinson's disease. It was hypothesized that levodopa would improve preparatory motor set related activity and alleviate hypophonia. Patients fasted and abstained from levodopa overnight. Motor examination and speech testing was performed the following day, pre-levodopa during their "off' state, then at hourly intervals post-medication to obtain the best "on" state. All speech stimuli showed a consistent tendency for increased loudness and faster rate during the "on" state, but this was accompanied by a greater extent of intensity decay. Pitch and articulation remained unchanged. Levodopa effectively upscaled the overall gain setting of vocal amplitude and tempo, similar to its well-known effect on limb movement. However, unlike limb movement, this effect on the final acoustic product of speech may or may not be advantageous, depending on the existing speech profile of individual patients. (C) 2007 Movement Disorder Society.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:14015
Uncontrolled Keywords:Parkinson's disease, levodopa, speech, intensity, volume or intensity, decay, duration, INTENSIVE VOICE TREATMENT, MONKEY GLOBUS-PALLIDUS, BASAL GANGLIA, KINEMATIC ANALYSIS, ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS, FINGER MOVEMENTS, MOTOR, RESPONSE, LARGE-SAMPLE, DYSARTHRIA, THERAPY

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