Speech and Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease

Kris Tjaden

Top Geriatr Rehabil. 2008; 24(2): 115–126. doi:  10.1097/01.TGR.0000318899.87690.44


Dysarthria and dysphagia occur frequently in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Reduced speech intelligibility is a significant functional limitation of dysarthria, and in the case of PD is likely related articulatory and phonatory impairment. Prosodically-based treatments show the most promise for addressing these deficits as well as for maximizing speech intelligibility. Communication-oriented strategies also may help to enhance mutual understanding between a speaker and listener. Dysphagia in PD can result in serious health issues, including aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, and dehydration. Early identification of swallowing abnormalities is critical so as to minimize the impact of dysphagia on health status and quality of life. Feeding modifications, compensatory strategies, and therapeutic swallowing techniques all have a role in the management of dysphagia in PD.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, dysarthria, dysphagia, speech and swallowing treatment

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