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Communication changes in Parkinson's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Nick Miller


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Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative neurological disorder. Depletion of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons gives rise to alterations in movement. Voice and speech, as dependent on movement of the articulators, are not spared. Non-dopaminergic changes can also affect language, cognition and mood, which can impact on communication. This article offers an overview of changes to speech and voice that arise in PD and the impact these underlying changes have on speech naturalness, intelligibility and participation in social life. Assessment and treatment are not a focus, but lessons for these areas are drawn from the description of the nature of overall changes. PD is also predominantly a disease of old age. Many of the alterations to speech and communication characteristic of PD also occur as part of the natural ageing process. Hence the article stresses that understanding communication alterations and their evaluation and treatment must happen within the context of age related changes. © 2009 AELFA y Grupo Ars XXI de Comunicación, S.L.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Miller N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Revista de Logopedia, Foniatria y Audiologia

Year: 2009

Volume: 29

Issue: 1

Pages: 37-46

ISSN (print): 0214-4603

ISSN (electronic): 1578-1712

Publisher: Grupo Ars XXI de Comunicacion, SA