Authors: Stathopoulos ET, Huber JE, Richardson K, Kamphaus J, DeCicco D, Darling M, Fulcher K, Sussman JE
Title: Increased vocal intensity due to the Lombard effect in speakers with Parkinson’s disease: Simultaneous laryngeal and respiratory strategies
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2014 48:1-17
Year: 2014
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: The objective of the present study was to investigate whether speakers with hypophonia, secondary to Parkinson's disease (PD), would increases their vocal intensity when speaking in a noisy environment (Lombard effect). The other objective was to examine the underlying laryngeal and respiratory strategies used to increase vocal intensity. Methods: Thirty-three participants with PD were included for study. Each participant was fitted with the SpeechVive™ device that played multi-talker babble noise into one ear during speech. Using acoustic, aerodynamic and respiratory kinematic techniques, the simultaneous laryngeal and respiratory mechanisms used to regulate vocal intensity were examined. Results: Significant group results showed that most speakers with PD (26/33) were successful at increasing their vocal intensity when speaking in the condition of multi-talker babble noise. They were able to support their increased vocal intensity and subglottal pressure with combined strategies from both the laryngeal and respiratory mechanisms. Individual speaker analysis indicated that the particular laryngeal and respiratory interactions differed among speakers. Conclusions: The SpeechVive™ device elicited higher vocal intensities from patients with PD. Speakers used different combinations of laryngeal and respiratory physiologic mechanisms to increase vocal intensity, thus suggesting that disease process does not uniformly affect the speech subsystems.

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