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Communication changes in Parkinson’s disease

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Nick Miller



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a review that has been published in its final definitive form by BMJ Publishing Group, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. This review looks at the nature and impact of communication changes in Parkinson’s disease, approaches to assessment and directions for intervention. This is especially important since medical and surgical interventions that help limb movement are largely ineffective, or even detrimental, for speech. Most people with Parkinson’s disease notice changes to their communication. Voice alters early on—even in the prodromal stage. Later, articulation may impair intelligibility further. These changes impact on mood and social participation. However, a full characterisation of communication changes in Parkinson’s must acknowledge that changes are far more pervasive and varied than a quiet voice. Communication is affected by marked dysprosody, cognitive-linguistic impairment, alterations to social interaction and pragmatics. Changes entail not just expressive elements but also receptive. A comprehensive evaluation of potential communication challenges faced by people with Parkinson’s disease must cover all these aspects. Similarly, interventions that ignore the breadth and depth of changes will always remain incomplete.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Miller N

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Practical Neurology

Year: 2017

Volume: 17

Issue: 4

Pages: 266-274

Print publication date: 01/08/2017

Online publication date: 07/07/2017

Acceptance date: 01/04/2017

ISSN (print): 1474-7758

ISSN (electronic): 1474-7766

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1136/practneurol-2017-001635