The Effect of Levodopa on Vowel Articulation in Parkinson's Disease: A Cross-Linguistic Study

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    Abstract

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological disorder
    that is characterized by a decay in global motor
    performance, manifest in tremor, abnormal gait, and
    dysarthria. PD dysarthria characteristics include
    monoloudness, pathological voice quality, and
    imprecise articulation. Standard treatment for
    relieving PD symptoms is the drug Levodopa, but it
    is currently unknown how it affects speech. We
    investigated the effect of Levodopa on the vowel
    space of 4 Dutch and 6 Slovenian PD participants.
    They recorded their speech on twenty occasions
    distributed over four days across 2-4 weeks. First and
    second formants of corner vowels [i-a-u] produced in
    isolated words were measured at acoustic midpoints
    of 4043 tokens. VAI [13], a metric of vowel space
    dispersion, was calculated for each speaker. VAI was
    not significantly affected by Levodopa in either
    language, which may indicate that the motor control
    underlying vowel articulation is not as sensitive to
    Levodopa as other motor symptoms
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019
    EditorsSasha Calhoun et al.
    PublisherAustralasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
    Pages1069-1073
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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