Session Time: 1:15pm-2:45pm
Location: Hall 3FG
Objective: Dopaminergic treatment has been reported to help motor problem associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but not speech motor. The current study examined vowel articulation by speakers with moderate Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and compared it with those produced by healthy controls.
Background: PD can have a profound effect on speech and voice. Hypokinetic dysarthria associated with PD often manifests as reduced vocal loudness and deviated articulation. Dopaminergic medication has been found to help with motor control in PD patients. Yet, other research seemed to indicate that the treatment is not helpful for speech motor system, suggesting that speech motor control is under a different mechanism. In other words, PD individuals should demonstrate problems in articulation even after levodopa medication, despite they should see marked improvement in their motility.
Methods: Twenty individuals (10 M & 10 F) suffering from mild to moderate degrees, and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were recruited and instructed to produce the four corner vowels of Cantonese /i, ɛ, a, u/. Each vowel was produced three times at a comfortable loudness. Speech signals were recorded using a high-quality microphone (SM58, Shure) and a preamplification system (PreUSB, M-Audio) via praat. The audio signals were digitized at a sampling frequency of 40 kHz and quantization rate of 16 bits/sample. During analysis, in order to avoid coarticulatory effect, only the medial 80% of the vowel was used to extract the first two formant frequencies (F1 and F2) by using praat, which is a software for signal analysis. The F1 and F2 values were used to calculate other derived articulatory parameters including triangular vowel space area (tVSA), and vowel articulation index (VAI).
Results: Data analysis is not completed at the moment. However, preliminary results indicated that compared to healthy controls, PD individuals were associated with a diminished vowel space, as indicated by reduced F1 and F2, tVSA and VAI values. This shows that vowels produced by PD individuals were distorted, with articulatory undershooting. This is likely to be related to the hypokinetic dysarthria associated with PD. Despite dopaminergic medication, PD patients still demonstrate deficit in speech motor control, resulting in distorted articulation.
Conclusions: The preliminary findings suggest that vowel production by PD individuals is distorted. In generally, articulatory undershooting with diminish vowel space is observed, despite the use of dopaminergic medicine. This indicates that further
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To cite this abstract in AMA style:N. Leung, E. Tong, M. Ng. Vowel characteristics associated with Parkinson’s disease in Cantonese [abstract]. Mov Disord. 2018; 33 (suppl 2). https://www.mdsabstracts.org/abstract/vowel-characteristics-associated-with-parkinsons-disease-in-cantonese/. Accessed December 6, 2023.
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