SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183


Signature Healthcare

Speech Characteristics of Hypokinetic Dysarthria

Antje Mefferd, PhD, CCC-SLP

November 9, 2015

Share:

Question

What are the speech characteristics associated with hypokinetic dysarthria as seen in Parkinson’s Disease?

Answer

The prominent speech characteristics are reduced vocal loudness and vocal decay, meaning that over time there is a fading in the loudness. This is commonly known as hypophonia.  You will also notice hoarseness, harshness, and especially breathiness in the voice, reduced pitch, loudness inflection, the imprecise consonants and distorted vowels that make speech sound very mumbled and slurred. There is also the characteristic of short rushes of speech which is called festinations.  There are inappropriate pauses and hesitation when beginning to speak, as well as some dysfluencies and voice tremor, especially when the patient is asked to sustain phonation over time. 

However, it should be noted that there is a great deal of variability across people with Parkinson's disease and dysarthria.  Some patients can be fairly slow in their speech while others are showing these short rushes of speech and accelerated speaking rates.  Some have a very harsh and hoarse voice, and some others are predominantly breathy.  There is quite a bit of heterogeneity in the Parkinson’s population. 

Antje Mefferd, PhD, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her research interest is in speech physiology, speech motor control, and the effects of neurological conditions (e.g., neurodegenerative diseases) on speech performance.


antje mefferd

Antje Mefferd, PhD, CCC-SLP

Assistant Professor

Antje Mefferd, PhD, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her research interest is in speech physiology, speech motor control, and the effects of neurological conditions (e.g., neurodegenerative diseases) on speech performance. She is also interested in aging-related changes in speech performance. Dr. Mefferd has taught undergraduate courses in anatomy and physiology of the speech mechanisms and graduate courses in the area of neurogenic communication disorders (aphasia, dysarthria) and speech science. 


Related Courses

Behavioral Frameworks for Dementia Management
Presented by Mary Beth Mason, PhD, CCC-SLP, Robert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP
Video

Presenters

Mary Beth Mason, PhD, CCC-SLPRobert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP
Course: #9473Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Excellent course, clearly presented, highly practical'   Read Reviews
This course will focus on cognitive-communication intervention strategies for various dementia presentations and will provide a review of evidence-based treatment. Behavioral frameworks along with their rationales will be introduced and applied across several dementia types and mild, moderate and severe levels of impairment.

Assessment of Cognitive-Linguistic Skills: The SLP's Role in Acute Care
Presented by Lisa Mechler, MS, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Lisa Mechler, MS, CCC-SLP
Course: #8194Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Very practical suggestions were made for evaluation and treatment'   Read Reviews
This course will review the rationale for completing cognitive-linguistic evaluations with adults in the acute care setting. Informal and formal assessments will be reviewed, as well as the role of the SLP in a multidisciplinary team.

Person-Centered Care 101 for Neurogenic Disorders
Presented by Sarah Baar, MA, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Sarah Baar, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #8475Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Great ideas, organized presentation'   Read Reviews
Person-centered care is emphasized as a best practice in general health care as well as speech-language pathology. This course is an introduction for SLPs treating adults, to show how simple choices for each step of the clinical process can lead to a person-centered approach and highly meaningful, functional therapy.

Post-Acute Care: Payment Reform and Alternative Payment Models
Presented by Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT
Video

Presenter

Renee Kinder, MS, CCC-SLP, RAC-CT
Course: #8227Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'It's important and complex information, but the questions on the assessment are too easy'   Read Reviews
Alternative Payment Models, known as APMs, are alternatives to traditional fee-for-service reimbursement. This course will explore current payment reform structures and the impacts on post-acute care of moving from volume-based fee-for-service models to outcomes-based reimbursement.

Vanderbilt SLP Journal Club: The Role of Hippocampal Memory in Language Use and Language Disorders
Presented by Melissa Duff, PhD, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Melissa Duff, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #8230Level: Advanced1 Hour
  'We really got down in the weeds with this one'   Read Reviews
This course will review evidence for hippocampal contributions to language use and processing. We will also discuss the implications of this work for understanding cognitive-communication disorders in TBI and Alzheimer’s disease.