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Title: Voice tremor in Parkinson's disease (PD) : identification, characterisation and relationship with speech, voice and disease variables
Author: Gillivan-Murphy, Patricia
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2013
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Voice tremor is associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), however little is known about the precise characteristics of PD voice tremor, optimum methods of evaluation or possible relationships with other speech, voice, and disease variables. The question of possible differences between voice tremor in people with PD (pwPD) and neurologically healthy ageing people has not been addressed. Thirty pwPD ‘off-medication’ and twenty eight age-sex matched neurologically healthy controls were evaluated for voice tremor features using acoustic measurement, auditory perceptual voice rating, and nasendoscopic vocal tract examination. Speech intelligibility, severity of voice impairment, voice disability and disease variables (duration, disability, motor symptom severity, phenotype) were measured and examined for relationship with acoustic voice tremor measures. Results showed that pwPD were more likely to show greater auditory perceived voice instability and a greater magnitude of frequency and amplitude tremor in comparison to controls, however without statistical significance. PwPD had a higher rate of amplitude tremor than controls (p<0.05). Judged from ‘silent’ video recordings of nasendoscopic examination, pwPD had a greater amount of tremor in the palate, tongue, and global larynx (vertical dimension) than controls during rest breathing, sustained /s/, /a/ and /i/ (p<0.05). Acoustic voice tremor did not relate significantly to other speech and voice variables. PwPD had a significantly higher voice disability than controls (p<0.05), though this was independent of voice tremor. The magnitude of frequency tremor was positively associated with disease duration (p<0.05). A lower rate of amplitude tremor was associated with an increase in motor symptoms severity (p<0.05). Acoustic voice tremor did not relate in any significant way to PD disability or phenotype. ii PD voice tremor is characterised by auditory perceived instability and tremor, a mean amplitude tremor of 4.94 Hz, and tremor in vocal tract structures. Acoustic analysis and nasendoscopy proved valuable adjunctive tools for characterising voice tremor. Voice tremor is not present in all people with PD, but does appear to increase with disease duration. However pwPD examined here represent a relatively mild group with relatively short disease duration. Further work will look at people with more severe disease symptomatology and longer duration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available