Hypokinetic Dysarthria

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Prior to the introduction of LSVT, speech therapy for individuals with hypokinetic dysarthria, secondary to Parkinson’s disease, followed a traditional speech therapy model, which focused on articulation, rate, respiration and/or voice. The success of these treatments on this population has been shown to be minimal. (Fox, Morrison, Ramig, & Sapir, 2002; Ramig, Countryman, Thompson, Horii, 1995).
A review of the literature found little research investigating the efficacy of traditional speech therapy treatments for hypokinetic dysarthria. The research was instead focused on the comparison of LSVT with different techniques. The only recent study found to have investigated the efficacy of traditional treatment for hypokinetic dysarthria was by
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There have been numerous studies conducted to prove the efficacy of the LSVT program over other more traditional speech therapy techniques. In two separate studies, Ramig and colleagues (Ramig, et al. 1995; Ramig, Countryman, O’Brien, Hoehn, & Thompson, 1996) compared LSVT with respiratory training treatment. The respiratory treatment included maximum inhalation and exhalation and sustained intraoral air pressure exercises. Both treatments were conducted with the same intensity (16 sessions over the course of a month) and included 30 minutes of repetitive practice and 30 minutes of carryover exercises. Results of these studies revealed that both short and long-term, the LSVT groups had more significant and consistent gains in vocal loudness and clear articulation. Additionally, the LSVT group maintained their gains up to 12 months post-treatment, while the respiratory group did not. Instead, they were found to have speech deterioration to below pre-treatment levels by 12 months …show more content…
The researchers found that slowing the rate of speech did not improve articulatory movement and instead had a negative effect on the stability of movement patterns. On the other hand, increasing the intensity of speech did improve articulatory movement. In a review of research, Fox, et al. (2002) also found that, although it was not directly addressed, articulation improved in participants following LSVT. They noted that increasing voice volume might aid in the coordination of orofacial function, which results in articulation that is more precise. LSVT has also been shown to increase subglottic air pressure and improved adduction of the vocal folds (Fox, Ebersbach, Ramig, & Sapir, 2012; Neel, 2009). This may result in improved vocal loudness and voice quality, therefore making speech more