Longitudinal Changes in Speech Breathing in Older Adults with and without Parkinson’s Disease

A longitudinal study was performed in order to analyze older individuals with and without Parkinson’s Disease and measure their speech breathing and speech production. The older adults were among the ages of 65 and 82. It involved analysis of speech severity, speech production level, utterance length, speech rate, as well as lung volume initiation and termination and their vital capacity. The results showed how with the progression of the Parkinson’s disease, older adults were shown to have a decline in their speech severity, increases with speech production level, an increase in speech rate and no change within utterance length.

M;, H. J. E. D.-W. (n.d.). Longitudinal changes in speech breathing in older adults with and without parkinson’s disease. Seminars in speech and language. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28618443/

Different Types of Speech Disorders

A speech disorder can cause one to have the inability to speak properly and clearly. This can be seen through repeated words, stuttering, long pauses, etc. Speech disorders are just one of the various types of communication disorders. Such speech disorders can be caused by a variety of things. This includes stress, nerve damage, conditions with the nervous system, as well as brain damage. The most common disorders include apraxia, dysarthria and aphasia. Apraxia can be seen in childhood as well as adulthood. With childhood apraxia, a child is not able to use their muscles properly to portray a massage. They are not able to move their tongue or mouth in the proper way in order to make certain sounds. This can cause a child to limit how much they can talk. With adult apraxia, it is acquired and can be due to brain damage. Such brain damage can be due to certain conditions such as lack of oxygen to the brain, a brain injury or brain damage. This form of apraxia can leave gaps within their speech. As they once knew how to speak correctly, they may not be able to make it sound right consistently. They can have a hard time controlling their tongue, lips and mouth in order to make the correct sound. Such adults may have to talk slower, and in severe instances, they can no longer be able to talk. Dysarthria can occur from brain damage that results in muscle weakness. They often cannot move their mouth or tongue very well or even at all. They can speak either very slowly or very fast and often slur their words. Their voice can also sound very different due to the brain damage. Aphasia is a linguistic impairment caused by injury to the left hemisphere of the brain. They are shown to have difficulty with speaking and understanding people, as well as writing and reading. They often have hard times remembering words and thus have a hard time forming full sentences.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)

LSVT or the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment is a behavioral speech treatment used as a form of therapy for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. There is a specific form of this treatment known as LSVT Loud which is used commonly to train such individuals. This program trains people to alter their voices in areas such as sound volume and pitch, as well as many other variables. The way that it works is by reshaping motor learning and neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity describes the brain’s ability to learn again, as seen through adjusting sensory feedback. This can be so that individuals with Parkinson’s Disease can realize view the volume of their voices being at an appropriate range, as compared to those that are “normal”. The program’s purpose is to get the patient’s voice volume up to a healthy, normal level so that he or she can communicate with other people. It focuses to improve vocal loudness, intonation, and articulation. Such treatments are being performed both in-person and online.

Overview of “Delivering group speech maintenance therapy via telerehabilitation to people with Parkinson’s disease: A pilot study”

There is very limited research in regards to group speech therapy via telehealth in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. I found this article in aiding my background and literature research in the topic.

The goal of this study was to see if telerehabilitation could be used to offer a group speech maintenance program, seen through eLoud and Proud, to patients with Parkinson’s disease. The method included eight people who have previously had LSVT LOUD were given treatment. The program, which lasted four weeks and consisted of two 90-minute sessions each week, focused on employing a “loud” voice in conversational and cognitively demanding activities. At three time points, data on sound pressure level (for sustained phonation, reading, and monologue tasks), maximum frequency range, maximum phonation duration, and impact of dysarthria on quality of life were collected. This include before treatment, immediately after treatment, and three months after treatment. At 3 months after the treatment, participants’ satisfaction with telerehabilitation was also measured. Significant gains were found in all three measures before treatment and were maintained for sustained phonation and reading activities at three months post-treatment, according to the findings. The remaining outcome measures revealed no significant differences. Telerehabilitation was generally well received by participants, who saw it as a viable alternative to traditional service delivery. To summarize, this research established the possibility of offering group speech maintenance therapy via telerehabilitation, as well as the ability of eLoud and Proud to enhance and maintain voice loudness in adults with Parkinson’s disease.