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19.03.2020 | Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Original Article

Dysarthria enhancement mechanism under external clear speech instruction in Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy

Journal of Neural Transmission
Dominik Skrabal, Tereza Tykalova, Jiri Klempir, Evzen Ruzicka, Jan Rusz
Wichtige Hinweise

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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00702-020-02171-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Clear speech refers to intentionally modifying conversational speech to maximise intelligibility. This study aimed to compare the speech behaviour of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Parkinson's disease (PD) under conversational and clear speech conditions to gain greater pathophysiological insight. A total of 68 participants including 17 PD, 17 MSA, 17 PSP and 17 healthy controls (HC) performed two readings of the same standardized passage. During the first reading, participants were instructed to read the text in an ordinary way, while during the second reading to read the text as clearly as possible. Acoustic analyses were based upon measurements of mean loudness, loudness variability, pitch variability, vowel articulation, articulation rate and speech severity. During clear speech production, PD patients were able to achieve improvements mainly in loudness (p < 0.05) and pitch variability (p < 0.001), leading to a reduction in overall speech severity (p < 0.001), whereas PSP and MSA patients were able to modulate only articulation rate (p < 0.05). Contrary to HC and PD groups, which slowed or maintained articulation rate, PSP and MSA groups employed a markedly faster articulation rate under the clear speech condition indicating an opposing approach to speech adaptation. Patients with atypical Parkinsonism showed a different strategy to intentionally improve their speech performance following a simple request to produce speech more clearly compared to PD, suggesting important therapeutic implications for speech rehabilitation management.

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