Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Voice and tongue


Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:34 am Post subject: Voice and tongue


I was diagnosed with Parkinson's last summer. I am 51 years old and taking Requip 4 mg, three times a day, Azilect 1 mg, Zoloft 100 mg and provigil 100 mg.

I previously asked a question about being tongue-tied. I also asked a question about my voice. Apparently that did not get through or somewhere along the line it was missed.

Yesterday while talking on the phone I realized my tongue was not moving correctly. It seemed to be moving slowly. As I thought back, this does not happen often, just occasionally, at lease this severely.

Also, my neurologist and my wife have indicated that they believe my voice has decreased in volume.

Do you think these symptoms are related to the Parkinson's disease? Is there anything that can be done about it? Any other thoughts or suggestions you have would be appreciated.


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Joined: 20 Sep 2007
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Posted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:24 pm Post subject: Loss of Voice Volume (loudness)


You mentioned that your wife and neurologist have noticed a change in the loudness of your voice. This is a very typical, early symptom experienced by persons with Parkinson Disease. Research has suggested that persons with Parkinson Disease loose the ability to monitor their feeling of loudness. That is, when you are talking in what you feel is a normal level of loudness- the listener feels you are talking softly. When people ask you to "Talk Louder" or "Speak Up" you can do so, but it feels that you are talking too loud. You need to feel comfortable that when you talk at a level your listener hears as "just right" it actually feels loud to you. This is a hard thing to train yourself to do, because no one wants to feel that they are talking too loud! This retraining is actually an integral part of the treatment/training strategy used in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, which was originally developed for persons with Parkinson Disease. You might want to devise a secret hand signal with your wife that cues you to "Speak Louder".

As for your feeling of being "tongue-tied" - I am sorry if a previous posting was not answered. If you feel your tongue is moving slowly, that also could be due to your Parkinson disease. Persons with Parkinson disease often feel that arms, legs, and even the tongue move slowly. Again, talking louder and using a slower speaking rate will help you to speak more clearly.

You might want to consult with a speech pathologist about Lee Silverman Voice Treatment or alternative voice and speech therapy that would focus on the problems you are experiencing. I suggest that you find a speech pathologist who has experience treating persons with Parkinson Disease. The National Parkinson Foundation has sponsored an interdisciplinary training program at a national level - Allied Team Training for Parkinson Disease. The Speech Pathologists who have completed this training have participated in a four and one-half day workshop that focused on specific treatment of speech, language and swallowing problems experienced by persons with Parkinson Disease. This training also taught them about other problems that persons with Parkinson disease experience and how other professionals, such as Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses, Nurse Practioners, Neurologists, Music Therapists, and Social Workers can network in treating persons with Parkinson Disease. Also, there are speech pathologists that are certified for the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, which is an intensive speech therapy program for persons with Parkinson Disease.

Celia J. Bassich, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Allied Team Training for Parkinson Disease, NPF

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