Project description:The impact of clear speech, increased vocal intensity, and rate reduction on acoustic characteristics of vowels was compared in speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD), speakers with multiple sclerosis (MS), and healthy controls.Speakers read sentences in habitual, clear, loud, and slow conditions. Variations in clarity, intensity, and rate were stimulated using magnitude production. Formant frequency values for peripheral and nonperipheral vowels were obtained at 20%, 50%, and 80% of vowel duration to derive static and dynamic acoustic measures. Intensity and duration measures were obtained.Rate was maximally reduced in the slow condition, and vocal intensity was maximized in the loud condition. The clear condition also yielded a reduced articulatory rate and increased intensity, although less than for the slow or loud conditions. Overall, the clear condition had the most consistent impact on vowel spectral characteristics. Spectral and temporal distinctiveness for peripheral-nonperipheral vowel pairs was largely similar across conditions.Clear speech maximized peripheral and nonperipheral vowel space areas for speakers with PD and MS while also reducing rate and increasing vocal intensity. These results suggest that a speech style focused on increasing articulatory amplitude yields the most robust changes in vowel segmental articulation.
Project description:BackgroundMore than 6,000,000 individuals worldwide are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD). Nearly 90% develop speech signs that may substantially impair their speech intelligibility, resulting in losses in their communication and quality of life. Benefits of intensive speech treatment have been documented for a range of speech signs. However, the critical question of whether speech is more intelligible after treatment has not been investigated in a randomised controlled trial (RCT). We hypothesised that intensive speech treatment would improve speech intelligibility in PD.MethodSixty-four patients with hypokinetic dysarthria secondary to PD participated in this single-centre, parallel arm, statistically-powered RCT. Reporting follows CONSORT guidelines for non-pharmacological treatment. Patients were recruited from US clinics and randomised using a statistician-derived minimisation algorithm, to intensive speech treatment (16 1-hour sessions/1 month) targeting voice (voice group) or targeting articulation (articulation group) or to an untreated group (no treatment group). Speech treatments were delivered by speech clinicians who specialised in treating patients with PD. Trial design minimised bias and supported equipoise. For intelligibility assessment, blinded listeners (n = 117) orthographically transcribed 57 patients’ recorded, self-generated narrative speech samples, randomly presented in multi-talker babble noise. Listeners were American-English speakers, ages 18–35 years, with normal hearing. The primary outcome was baseline (pre-treatment) to post-treatment change in transcription accuracy (TA), recognised as the most objective measure of intelligibility. TA was defined as the percentage of words transcribed correctly. Listeners, data collectors, and data managers were blinded to treatment conditions and groups. Reliability was evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficients and differences amongst groups were evaluated by mixed-effects models, in accordance with the intention-to-treat approach.This trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00123084.FindingsBetween June 23, 2016 and August 14, 2017, blinded listeners transcribed baseline and post-treatment speech samples for intelligibility assessment of 57 patients in the voice (n = 19), articulation (n = 19) and no treatment (n = 19) groups. Between-group differences (d) in changes from baseline to post-treatment in TA indicated significantly greater increases following treatment targeting voice than treatment targeting articulation (d = 26·2%, 95% CI 1·5 ? 51·0; p = 0·04; ES=1·0). Differences between TA changes in the treatment targeting voice and in the no treatment group were significant (d = 42·8%, 95% CI 22·4 ? 63·2; p = 0·0002; ES=1·8). Differences between TA changes in the treatment targeting articulation and in the no treatment group were not significant (d = 16·5%, 95% CI -6·1 ? 39·2; p = 0·147; ES=0·9).InterpretationThese findings provide the first RCT evidence that intensive speech treatment targeting voice improves speech intelligibility in PD. Thus, this evidence-based treatment may positively impact health-related quality of life for patients with PD globally when it is included in patient management.Funding10.13039/100000002NIH—NIDCD R01 DC01150 and LSVT Global, Inc.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>LSVT-BIG® is an intensively delivered, amplitude-oriented exercise therapy reported to improve mobility in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, questions remain surrounding the efficacy of LSVT-BIG® when compared with similar exercise therapies. Instrumented clinical tests using body-worn sensors can provide a means to objectively monitor patient progression with therapy by quantifying features of motor function, yet research exploring the feasibility of this approach has been limited to date. The aim of this study was to use accelerometer-instrumented clinical tests to quantify features of gait, balance and fine motor control in individuals with PD, in order to examine motor function during and following LSVT-BIG® therapy.<h4>Methods</h4>Twelve individuals with PD undergoing LSVT-BIG® therapy, eight non-exercising PD controls and 14 healthy controls were recruited to participate in the study. Functional mobility was examined using features derived from accelerometry recorded during five instrumented clinical tests: 10?m walk, Timed-Up-and-Go, Sit-to-Stand, quiet stance, and finger tapping. PD subjects undergoing therapy were assessed before, each week during, and up to 13 weeks following LSVT-BIG®.<h4>Results</h4>Accelerometry data captured significant improvements in 10?m walk and Timed-Up-and-Go times with LSVT-BIG® (p?<? 0.001), accompanied by increased stride length. Temporal features of the gait cycle were significantly lower following therapy, though no change was observed with measures of asymmetry or stride variance. The total number of Sit-to-Stand transitions significantly increased with LSVT-BIG® (p?<? 0.001), corresponding to a significant reduction of time spent in each phase of the Sit-to-Stand cycle. No change in measures related to postural or fine motor control was observed with LSVT-BIG®. PD subjects undergoing LSVT-BIG® showed significant improvements in 10?m walk (p?<? 0.001) and Timed-Up-and-Go times (p?=?0.004) over a four-week period when compared to non-exercising PD controls, who showed no week-to-week improvement in any task examined.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study demonstrates the potential for wearable sensors to objectively quantify changes in motor function in response to therapeutic exercise interventions in PD. The observed improvements in accelerometer-derived features provide support for instrumenting gait and sit-to-stand tasks, and demonstrate a rescaling of the speed-amplitude relationship during gait in PD following LSVT-BIG®.
Project description:The perceptual consequences of rate reduction, increased vocal intensity, and clear speech were studied in speakers with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and healthy controls.Seventy-eight speakers read sentences in habitual, clear, loud, and slow conditions. Sentences were equated for peak amplitude and mixed with multitalker babble for presentation to listeners. Using a computerized visual analog scale, listeners judged intelligibility or speech severity as operationally defined in Sussman and Tjaden (2012).Loud and clear but not slow conditions improved intelligibility relative to the habitual condition. With the exception of the loud condition for the PD group, speech severity did not improve above habitual and was reduced relative to habitual in some instances. Intelligibility and speech severity were strongly related, but relationships for disordered speakers were weaker in clear and slow conditions versus habitual.Both clear and loud speech show promise for improving intelligibility and maintaining or improving speech severity in multitalker babble for speakers with mild dysarthria secondary to MS or PD, at least as these perceptual constructs were defined and measured in this study. Although scaled intelligibility and speech severity overlap, the metrics further appear to have some separate value in documenting treatment-related speech changes.
Project description:Purpose. To investigate the impact of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN DBS) and levodopa intake on vowel articulation in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods. Vowel articulation was assessed in seven Quebec French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD who underwent STN DBS. Assessments were conducted on- and off-medication, first prior to surgery and then 1 year later. All recordings were made on-stimulation. Vowel articulation was measured using acoustic vowel space and formant centralization ratio. Results. Compared to the period before surgery, vowel articulation was reduced after surgery when patients were off-medication, while it was better on-medication. The impact of levodopa intake on vowel articulation changed with STN DBS: before surgery, levodopa impaired articulation, while it no longer had a negative effect after surgery. Conclusions. These results indicate that while STN DBS could lead to a direct deterioration in articulation, it may indirectly improve it by reducing the levodopa dose required to manage motor symptoms. These findings suggest that, with respect to speech production, STN DBS and levodopa intake cannot be investigated separately because the two are intrinsically linked. Along with motor symptoms, speech production should be considered when optimizing therapeutic management of patients with PD.
Project description:Purpose. To investigate changes in vowel articulation with the electrical deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in dysarthric speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods. Eight Quebec-French speakers diagnosed with idiopathic PD who had undergone STN DBS were evaluated ON-stimulation and OFF-stimulation (1 hour after DBS was turned off). Vowel articulation was compared ON-simulation versus OFF-stimulation using acoustic vowel space and formant centralization ratio, calculated with the first (F1) and second formant (F2) of the vowels /i/, /u/, and /a/. The impact of the preceding consonant context on articulation, which represents a measure of coarticulation, was also analyzed as a function of the stimulation state. Results. Maximum vowel articulation increased during ON-stimulation. Analyses also indicate that vowel articulation was modulated by the consonant context but this relationship did not change with STN DBS. Conclusions. Results suggest that STN DBS may improve articulation in dysarthric speakers with PD, in terms of range of movement. Optimization of the electrical parameters for each patient is important and may lead to improvement in speech fine motor control. However, the impact on overall speech intelligibility may still be small. Clinical considerations are discussed and new research avenues are suggested.
Project description:PURPOSE: The aim of the current study was to survey if vowel articulation in speakers with Parkinson's disease (PD) shows specific changes in the course of the disease. METHOD: 67 patients with PD (42 male) and 40 healthy speakers (20 male) were tested and retested after an average time interval of 34 months. Participants had to read a given text as source for subsequent calculation of the triangular vowel space area (tVSA) and vowel articulation index (VAI). Measurement of tVSA and VAI were based upon analysis of the first and second formant of the vowels /?/, /i/and /u/ extracted from defined words within the text. RESULTS: At first visit, VAI values were reduced in male and female PD patients as compared to the control group, and showed a further decrease at the second visit. Only in female Parkinsonian speakers, VAI was correlated to overall speech impairment based upon perceptual impression. VAI and tVSA were correlated to gait impairment, but no correlations were seen between VAI and global motor impairment or overall disease duration. tVSA showed a similar reduction in the PD as compared to the control group and was also found to further decline between first and second examination in female, but not in male speakers with PD. CONCLUSIONS: Measurement of VAI seems to be superior to tVSA in the description of impaired vowel articulation and its further decline in the course of the disease in PD. Since impairment of vowel articulation was found to be independent from global motor function but correlated to gait dysfunction, measurement of vowel articulation might have a potential to serve as a marker of axial disease progression.
Project description:For generations, the evaluation of speech abnormalities in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) has been limited to perceptual tests or user-controlled laboratory analysis based upon rather small samples of human vocalizations. Our study introduces a fully automated method that yields significant features related to respiratory deficits, dysphonia, imprecise articulation and dysrhythmia from acoustic microphone data of natural connected speech for predicting early and distinctive patterns of neurodegeneration. We compared speech recordings of 50 subjects with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder (RBD), 30 newly diagnosed, untreated PD patients and 50 healthy controls, and showed that subliminal parkinsonian speech deficits can be reliably captured even in RBD patients, which are at high risk of developing PD or other synucleinopathies. Thus, automated vocal analysis should soon be able to contribute to screening and diagnostic procedures for prodromal parkinsonian neurodegeneration in natural environments.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>Dynamic MRI analysis of phonation has gathered interest in voice and speech physiology. However, there are limited data addressing the extent to which articulation is dependent on loudness.<h4>Material and methods</h4>12 professional singer subjects of different voice classifications were analysed concerning the vocal tract profiles recorded with dynamic real-time MRI with 25fps in different pitch and loudness conditions. The subjects were asked to sing ascending scales on the vowel /a/ in three loudness conditions (comfortable=mf, very soft=pp, very loud=ff, respectively). Furthermore, fundamental frequency and sound pressure level were analysed from the simultaneously recorded optical audio signal after noise cancellation.<h4>Results</h4>The data show articulatory differences with respect to changes of both pitch and loudness. Here, lip opening and pharynx width were increased. While the vertical larynx position was rising with pitch it was lower for greater loudness. Especially, the lip opening and pharynx width were more strongly correlated with the sound pressure level than with pitch.<h4>Conclusion</h4>For the vowel /a/ loudness has an effect on articulation during singing which should be considered when articulatory vocal tract data are interpreted.