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Voice Tremor in Parkinson's Disease: An Acoustic Study

Lookup NU author(s): Patricia Gillivan-Murphy, Emeritus Professor Nick Miller, Professor Paul Carding



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2018 The Voice Foundation. Background: Voice tremor associated with Parkinson disease (PD) has not been characterized. Its relationship with voice disability and disease variables is unknown. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate voice tremor in people with PD (pwPD) and a matched control group using acoustic analysis, and to examine correlations with voice disability and disease variables. Methods: Acoustic voice tremor analysis was completed on 30 pwPD and 28 age-gender matched controls. Voice disability (Voice Handicap Index), and disease variables of disease duration, Activities of Daily Living (Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale [UPDRS II]), and motor symptoms related to PD (UPDRS III) were examined for relationship with voice tremor measures. Results: Voice tremor was detected acoustically in pwPD and controls with similar frequency. PwPD had a statistically significantly higher rate of amplitude tremor (Hz) than controls (P = 0.001). Rate of amplitude tremor was negatively and significantly correlated with UPDRS III total score (rho -0.509). For pwPD, the magnitude and periodicity of acoustic tremor was higher than for controls without statistical significance. The magnitude of frequency tremor (Mftr%) was positively and significantly correlated with disease duration (rho 0.463). PwPD had higher Voice Handicap Index total, functional, emotional, and physical subscale scores than matched controls (P < 0.001). Voice disability did not correlate significantly with acoustic voice tremor measures. Conclusion: Acoustic analysis enhances understanding of PD voice tremor characteristics, its pathophysiology, and its relationship with voice disability and disease symptomatology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gillivan-Murphy P, Miller N, Carding P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Voice

Year: 2019

Volume: 33

Issue: 2

Pages: 379-381

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 03/02/2018

Acceptance date: 18/12/2017

Date deposited: 19/02/2018

ISSN (print): 0892-1997

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4588

Publisher: Mosby Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2017.12.010


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