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10.07.2020 | Neurology and Preclinical Neurological Studies - Original Article | Ausgabe 9/2020

Journal of Neural Transmission 9/2020

Speech disorder and vocal tremor in postural instability/gait difficulty and tremor dominant subtypes of Parkinson’s disease

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Neural Transmission > Ausgabe 9/2020
Autoren:
Tereza Tykalová, Jan Rusz, Jan Švihlík, Serena Bancone, Alessandro Spezia, Maria Teresa Pellecchia
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Abstract

Hypokinetic dysarthria is a multidimensional impairment affecting all main speech subsystems with variable patterns and severity across individual Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. We can thus assume that inter-individual abnormal speech patterns are related to the various clinical subtypes of PD with different prominent motor symptoms. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to compare speech disorder between patients with the postural instability/gait difficulty (PIGD) and tremor-dominant (TD) motor phenotypes of PD. Speech samples were acquired from a total of 63 participants, including 21 PIGD patients, 21 TD patients, and 21 healthy controls. Quantitative acoustic vocal assessment of 12 unique speech dimensions related to phonation, vocal tremor, oral diadochokinesis, articulation, prosody and speech timing was performed. Speech impairment was more pronounced in the PIGD group than in the TD group, with an area under the curve of 0.76. Patients in the PIGD group manifested abnormalities in pitch breaks, articulatory decay, decreased rate of follow-up speech segments and inappropriate silences, apart from monopitch and irregular AMR that were affected in TD group as well. An abnormal vocal tremor was present in only 10% of PD patients, with no differences between the PD phenotypes. We found a correlation between non-motor symptom severity and speech timing (r = − 0.40, p = 0.009). The present study demonstrates that speech disorder reflects the underlying motor phenotypes. Vocal tremor appeared to be an isolated phenomenon that does not share similar pathophysiology with limb tremor.

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