Authors: Spielman J, Mahler L, Halpern A, Gilley P, Klepitskaya O, Ramig L
Title: Intensive voice treatment (LSVT® LOUD) for Parkinson’s disease following deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2011 44(6): 688-700
Year: 2011
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose: Intensive voice therapy (LSVT® LOUD) can effectively manage voice and speech symptoms associated with idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD). This small-group study evaluated voice and speech in individuals with and without deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) before and after LSVT LOUD, to determine whether outcomes for surgical subjects were comparable to non-surgical cohorts. Methods: Eight subjects with PD (four with STN-DBS and four without) received LSVT LOUD four times a week for four weeks. Four additional subjects with PD remained untreated. Voice intensity (SPL), Vowel Articulation Index (VAI), the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and a structured interview were evaluated before and after treatment and again six months later. Results: Both treated groups showed significant increases in SPL from pre to post and six month follow up. VAI was significantly higher for the treated groups compared to the untreated subjects at follow up. Several treated individuals had significant clinical improvement in VHI scores, particularly within the LSVT-DBS group. Treated individuals reported improvements in voice and speech in structured interviews; however, answers suggest more variable long-term maintenance within the LSVT-DBS group. The untreated group exhibited no significant changes in any measure throughout the study. Conclusions: Results support LSVT LOUD for treating voice and speech in individuals with PD following STN-DBS surgery. However, modifications may be required to maintain functional improvements.

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