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Parkinson’s Disease Voice Therapy

Spl Immediately After Treatment

LSVT LOUD Speech Therapy for Parkinson disease

We conducted four types of studies to evaluate the efficacy of SPL. A total of 141 participants were tested with three voice tasks, and voice testing revealed a higher SPL level in the LSVT group than the control group, with high heterogeneity . After subgroup analyses, the SPL level increased during pronunciation vowel , while reading of the rainbow passage , the monologues , and the heterogeneity was not significant across four studies .

SPL immediately after the treatment during a reading of vowel, rainbow passage, and monologues.

Effects On Speech And Voice

There are three ways that Parkinsons Disease can affect speech: dysarthria, hypophonia, and tachyphemia. Dysarthria affects the muscles required for speech which can cause mumbling or slurring. Hypophonia, also brought on by weakened muscles, is characterized by a soft, abnormally weak voice. Tachyphemia is rapid, stammering speech, also known as cluttering. Knowing these three conditions and their effects can help you find your best methods of treatment following diagnosis.

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Physical Therapy For Parkinsons Disease

People with chronic conditions and movement disorders, such as early onset Parkinsons disease, often find physical therapy can improve strength and flexibility and decrease pain and stiffness. Physical therapy is becoming an essential part of many Parkinsons disease treatment plans. More and more studies show how beneficial exercise is to Parkinsons patients to help slow the progression of the disease as well as aiding in physical and cognitive functions.

Its recommended that Parkinsons patients exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week or 20 minutes a day. The activity can be something as simple as getting in and out of a chair, to as complex as an aerobics class. The exercise level should be catered to the patients needs.

Mercys physical therapists offer free exercise classes that combine skill-based exercises with aerobic exercises. Exercise is not just a temporary solution. Its a lifestyle change. If you have not exercised before, please consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.

Tips for Exercising:

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Parkinsons Speech Therapy Exercises

The following speech therapy exercises are specifically designed to help people who suffer from Parkinsons disease.

Deep Breathing

This exercise might seem simple, but deep breathing is essential for keeping your lungs and diaphragm healthy and strong. This, in turn, helps you maintain your ability to project your voice.

Deep breathing is a great warm-up to get your ready for other, more advanced exercises.

To do this exercise, simply start by sitting or standing up straight. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Breathe in until you feel your ribs and abdomen start to expand.

When youve inhaled as much as you can, exhale slowly through your mouth .

Take several deep, full breaths before moving on to the next exercise.

Pitch Glides

This is a great exercise that will help you maintain your pronunciation and projection abilities.

Start by taking a deep breath in. Then, push out from your diaphragm while making an ah sound. Try to extend this sound for at least 15 seconds.

Take another deep breath and push out from your diaphragm while repeating an oh sound for 15 seconds. Do this again with both oo and ee sounds.

When youve done the exercise with each sound, youre ready to move on and practice changing your pitch. Do this by alternating between the oh and ee sounds for 30 seconds.

Volume Control


Sirening is another good exercise for improving your pronunciation and pitch control.

Laryngeal Push-ups

How Can I Improve My Speech With Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons Disease and Voice Therapy Exercises  Therapy Insights

Speech-language pathologists can help people with Parkinson’s disease maintain as many communication skills as possible. They also teach techniques that conserve energy, including non-verbal communication skills. Speech-language pathologists are also available to:

  • Recommend appropriate communication technologies that will help with daily activities.
  • Treat all types of speech, language, and communication problems.
  • Evaluate swallowing function and recommend changes as necessary.

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Zoom Voice Group For Pwp

Cost: $60 / 6 weeks

Class: voice exercise

Duration: 60 minutes

Classes run in 6 week sessions with a break in between. Class size is limited. Registrants must commit to all 6 weeks. You can register for the class with the instructor, speech language therapist, Jocelyn Lagier, on her website, by phone , or by using this form and mail her a check for tuition.

Cost: Free

Overall Completeness And Applicability Of Evidence

Outcome measures

It can be argued that intelligibility is the most critical outcome to be measured in speech and language therapy trials. If this global measure does not improve then it is irrelevant to the patient how many other objective speech quality measures improve they still cannot be understood. All included trials assessed intelligibility and almost all results were not statistically significant. The exception to this was the perceptual ratings of speech recordings overlaid with babble noise for which LSVTLOUD gave a greater improvement than LSVTARTIC . The noninferiority of online delivery of LSVT was supported by the intelligibility results of Constantinescu 2011, who reported no statistically significant difference between the improvements in both acoustic and perceptual measures for this group and the facetoface delivery group.

The prosodic abnormality score, which assesses volume, pitch, tone, intonation, vocal quality , rate and rhythm, does not appear to have been independently assessed for validity.

Adverse events were not reported by any of the trials included in this review. Although the risk associated with speech and language therapy is low, patients could be affected by vocal strain or abuse during high effort exercises.

Speech and language therapy methodology

Speech and language therapy terminology

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Speech & Voice Therapy

The speech pathologists at Neuro Speech Solutions, are certified in a specialty program called Speak Out! by Parkinson Voice Project, a non-profit that aims to help those with Parkinsons disease regain their voice and speak with intent!

Want to hear some real results from our practice? Here are previous clients before and after speech therapy with Neuro Speech Solutions.

Parkinson’s Voice Project Practice Videos

Parkinson’s and Voice Therapy: Express Yourself

Four Speak Out! practice videos, each with a different Parkinson’s Voice Project speech language pathologist .

Cost: $34.99/month or $349.99/year, first month free

Online post speech therapy maintenance with a speech language pathologist trained in either LSVT LOUD or Speak OUT!

Includes 15+ voice practice sessions per week as well as facial exercises, articulation practice, and more.

Publisher: LSVT Global, Inc. Cost: $28 for DVD or download $15/year streaming

Speech exercises for people with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions. Available in English and Cantonese.

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How Are Speech Problems Treated

There are many options to help improve your speech. A speech-language pathologist can help you pick the right approaches for you. SLPs are trained health care professionals who specialize in evaluating and treating people with speech, swallowing, voice and language problems.Ask your doctor for a referral to a speech-language pathologist. It is also important to contact your health insurance company to find out what therapy and procedures are eligible for reimbursement and to find a list of SLPs covered by your plan.Finally, visit a SLP who has experience treating people with PD. Call the Parkinsons Foundation Helpline at 1-800-4PD-INFO for help locating a speech-language pathologist in your area. Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, discussed below, is a specific voice therapy for PD but it is not the only way to obtain high quality speech therapy for PD.

How Can Listeners Help People Who Have Difficulty Speaking And Communicating

Here are some ways friends and family of people with Parkinsons disease can ease speaking and communication difficulties:

  • Talk to the person with Parkinsons disease face-to-face only, and look at the person as he or she is speaking.
  • Ask questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
  • Repeat the part of the sentence that you understood.
  • Ask the person to repeat what he or she said, to speak more slowly or spell out the words you did not understand.

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What Can A Speech Pathologist Do

Speech pathologists help people with Parkinson’s speak clearly, loudly, and with intent. They help in displaying emotion with facial cues through specific exercises. Furthermore, SLPs increase word-finding abilities, can help manage cognitive functioning, comprehension issues, memory, and following directions.

Speech pathologists provide oral motor exercises to assist with speech, voice, and swallowing abilities. Speech therapy includes respiration which controls the power necessary for speech loudness. Most PWP think that they are speaking loud enough. Their internal self-regulating mechanisms are impaired.

Therapists can help with resonance – how the air is shaped by the oral and nasal cavities. They can also help with prosody – the rhythm, melody, and intonation of speech.

SLPs may also assist with safe swallowing techniques to prevent aspiration, when food or liquid goes “down the wrong pipe.” This can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is the number 1 cause of death in Parkinson’s.2

Learn About Our Nonprofit Organization


Our speech-language pathologists are dedicated to helping individuals who struggle with Parkinson’s disease. If you want to learn more about us, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than willing to assist you and answer any query you might have. We currently receive grant funding from Parkinson’s Foundation, as well as Parkinson Support and Wellness for the 2021 reporting period.

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What Are The Common Reasons That Someone With Pd May See A Speech

Often people with PD are referred to an SLP by their physician when they begin to have difficulty communicating or swallowing. Unfortunately, by the time people receive an evaluation from a SLP they have likely been experiencing subtle symptoms for quite a while. People with PD as well as their family members and friends often start being aware of communication issues when the person with PDs voice becomes too soft to communicate effectively. The communication symptoms begin very gradually, so they may first experience difficulty projecting their voice in a noisy environment, or when ordering at a drive-thru window. Over time they begin to experience more and more issues being heard and understood by others. Some people may gradually develop some imprecise/slurred speech and/or a hoarse or breathy voice quality. Communication can also be negatively impacted by changes in nonverbal communication, such as reduced facial expression and speaking with a monotone inflection.

Swallowing issues are often not detected until the person with PD is coughing significantly during meals or struggling to chew and swallow food safely and efficiently. The changes in swallowing can also happen so gradually that people assume symptoms are just related to aging or some other external factor, when in reality, these changes are directly related to the sensory and motor issues associated with PD.

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A Review Of Assistive Technologies For People With Parkinsons Disease

Issue title: Smart Environments: Technology to Support Healthcare

Guest editors: Dewar D. Finlay

Article type: Research Article

Authors: Cunningham, L.M.a* | Nugent, C.D.a | Finlay, D.D.a | Moore, G.a | Craig, D.b

Affiliations: Computer Science Research Institute and School of Computing and Mathematics, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, UK | Belfast City Hospital/Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Correspondence: Address for correspondence: Laura M. Cunningham, School of Computing and Mathematics, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, BT37 0QB, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK. Tel.: +44 28 90368918 E-mail: .

Keywords: Assistive technology, Parkinsons disease, mobile phone, personal computer, touch screen device

DOI: 10.3233/THC-2009-0547

Journal: Technology and Health Care, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 269-279, 2009

Pwpd Perspectives On Change In Speech And Voice

Speech Therapy and Parkinson’s Disease

In terms of pwPD perspectives, impaired communication results in significant restrictions on daily living activities and social participation, and is strongly associated with reduced quality-of-life.2733 Perceived impact can be significant for the pwPD, even when listeners detect no apparent major issues with voice and speech.28,30,3436 PwPD describe their voice as too quiet, or volume fades fast over an utterance or in conversation they describe voice quality as hoarse, breathy, tremulous, and that they have difficulty initiating or sustaining utterances.37,38 Freezing of voice can be as troublesome as freezing of gait.27 Disturbance to speech prosody is also described as a strong feature.3941 PwPD report the frustrations of listeners seeming to misunderstand or miss the emotion they are aiming to convey, or the constant feeling that people believe them to be depressed, disinterested, and unmotivated when they are not.4244 Such impressions are reinforced by hypomimia.45,46 To listeners, articulation may sound distorted or sounds omitted and/or syllables and words slurred together, which may give the impression that the pwPD is speaking too fast. Listeners also describe sudden rushes of accelerated speech, maybe in an attempt to complete a sentence on insufficient breath.

These points offer a number of important implications for assessment and intervention, as discussed in the next section.

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What Is Speak Out

Speak Out! is an evidence-based program that emphasizes speaking with intent and converts speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

The program consists of 12 individual sessions across 4 weeks where the speech pathologist and client will work together to implement intentional speech. This is done by using the Speak Out! workbook that includes vocal exercises, readings, and cognitive tasks. For optimal results, the client is to complete a lesson each day .

After Speak Out! is complete, the client is recommended to join the Loud Crowd!, a group of Speak Out! graduates that meet weekly to practice their intentional voice

Assistive Devices For Patients With Parkinsons Disease

Speech-Language Pathologist

As discussed in a previous blog entry, patients with Parkinsons Disease develop problems with speaking and communicating. As the medical industry progresses, devices and tools become available to patients to help with communication.

Below are several assistive devices that are available to help people with Parkinsons Disease. These devices can help people communicate more clearly.

This is a dental apparatus that is similar to a retainer. It lifts the soft palate and stops air from escaping out of the nose during speech.

This is a personal amplifier that can be used to increase vocal loudness in soft-spoken people. The amplifier also decreases voice fatigue.

  • TTY Telephones Relay System
  • This is a telephone equipped with a keyboard so speech can be typed and read by a relay operator to the listener. Either the whole message can be typed or just the words that are not understood can be typed.

  • Low-Technology Devices
  • Notebooks and language boards can be used as alternative communication techniques.

  • High-Technology Electronic Speech Enhancer, Communication Devices
  • Computers with voice synthesizers and dedicated communication devices are available.

    Patients who are interested in purchasing electronic communication aids should discuss this with a speech-language therapist before contacting sales representatives for these devices.

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    Voice Changes For Early Parkinsons Diagnosis

    Researchers at Monash University in Melbourne are studying the vocal cords of people with Parkinsons to determine whether measuring voice changes an early sign of the condition could improve early diagnosis.

    As part of the trial, 31 people with different severities of Parkinsons and control participants are being assessed using Computer Tomography scans. The scanner takes 50 snapshots to measure the movement of the vocal cords.

    Researchers Dr Andrew Ma and Professor Dominic Thyagarajan hope the use of CT scans will result in Parkinsons diagnoses up to eight years before current clinical diagnoses.

    The advantages of this technique are that we get measurable, quantitative data. Its also less invasive for patients compared to laryngoscopy which involves a camera down the throat to look at the vocal cords which had been used in earlier studies. If our technique is proven to be useful, it will be easier to roll out in clinical practice, said Dr. Ma.

    Its already been shown in the literature that there are strong links between early Parkinsons and voice, and hopefully we can show that CT scans are able to detect these changes.

    Voice changes due to Parkinsons include:

    • Dysphonia Where the quality of voice is altered to become breathier and hoarser.
    • Hypophonia A soft voice.
    • Dysprosody Where the cadence of voice pitch and rhythm changes. Patients may lose ranges of expression or begin speaking in more of a monotone.

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    Spl For The Different Times After Treatment

    Three Swallowing Exercises for People with Parkinson

    According to the different SPLs after treatment in the studies, the test time was divided into 16 months and 612 months. Compared with the control group, the LSVT group had an improved SPL score 5.19dB after 16 months ) and 3.88dB after 612 months ). Four studies reported that the higher SPL scores during pronunciation vowel, reading of the rainbow passage, and monologues were 8.03dB , 4.07dB , and 2.20dB , respectively, after 16 months. In addition, three studies reported an increased SPL score during pronunciation vowel, reading of the rainbow passage, and monologues 6.31dB , 3.37dB , and 3.04dB , respectively, after 612 months ).

    Forest plot showing mean difference and 95% CI of speech intelligibility immediately treatment.

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    Limitations And Clinical Implications

    Although findings from this third RCT reduce the critical gap in our knowledge of speech treatment in PD, there are limitations.

    The RCT was powered based upon previous evidence to detect an effect in the primary outcome SPL. Although the resulting sample size is consistent with behavioral treatment studies,143 it precluded using multivariate statistics. However, we did find significant differences in between and withingroup changes over time. Additionally, although we used multiple comparison procedures for the power analysis and to control for inflation of type 1 errors for three pairwise comparisons, we did not adjust for multiple outcomes for SPL.

    Whereas PD participants ranged in disease severity and age, generally they had mildmoderate disease. Nevertheless, it was demonstrated that their speech characteristics and selfevaluation of communicative effectiveness were significantly worse than those of the HC group at baseline, consistent with reports of speech disorders occurring early and throughout the course of PD.1, 6, 7, 14, 39 Treating speech disorders in mildmoderate PD may help maintain functional communication and quality of life,4, 5, 31, 39 which is in accord with rehabilitation literature supporting ongoing exercise in mildmoderate PD.85, 144


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