Imprecise consonants in Parkinson’s disease: literature review

Agnė Pacevičiūtė1, Jolita Čičelienė2

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania

2Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Kauno klinikos, Department of Neurology, Kaunas, Lithuania


Background. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by signs of hypokinetic dysarthria, which occurs in the majority of patients. One of the main signs of hypokinetic dysarthria is the inaccuracy of pronouncing consonants. A change in speech is recorded earlier than the classic motor signs of Parkinson’s disease. Acoustic analysis of recorded speech signals can help detect subtle speech disorders that may be missed by listening.

Aim: to identify changes in consonant pronunciation in Parkinson’s disease.

Methodology. A literature review was conducted by using “PubMed” database. A total of 13 literature sources examining consonant pronunciation changes in Parkinson’s disease were selected and reviewed.

Results. In Parkinson’s disease, the pronunciation of plosives, affricates and fricatives is most affected. Articulation inaccuracy can be caused by an increased range of tongue movements during the release phase of consonants, muscle rigidity, slow movements and decreased movement force of the tongue, lips, soft palate, vocal cords, and impaired control of the vocal cords.

Conclusion. Although consonant analysis provides a lot of information, a standardized speech analysis method to diagnose Parkinson’s disease is not yet available.

Keywords: Parkinson‘s disease, imprecise consonants, hypokinetic dysarthria.

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