Quantitative Description of the Dysarthria in Women With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Speech intelligibility and its phonetic and acoustic correlates were studied in a group of 10 women with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Intelligibility assessment with a word-identification test indicated that the most disrupted phonetic features pertained to velopharyngeal valving, lingual function for consonant contrasts of place and manner, and syllable shape. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1992
Quantitative Description of the Dysarthria in Women With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Finley Kent
    Department of Communicative Disorders University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Raymond D. Kent
    Department of Communicative Disorders University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • John C. Rosenbek
    Speech Pathology Service Veterans Administration Hospital Madison, WI
  • Gary Weismer
    Department of Communicative Disorders University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Ruth Martin
    Department of Communicative Disorders University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Robert Sufit
    Department of Neurology Center for Health Sciences University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Benjamin R. Brooks
    Department of Neurology Center for Health Sciences University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Neurology Service Veterans Administration Hospital Madison, WI
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1992
Quantitative Description of the Dysarthria in Women With Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 723-733. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.723
History: Received March 21, 1991 , Accepted October 3, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1992, Vol. 35, 723-733. doi:10.1044/jshr.3504.723
History: Received March 21, 1991; Accepted October 3, 1991

Speech intelligibility and its phonetic and acoustic correlates were studied in a group of 10 women with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Intelligibility assessment with a word-identification test indicated that the most disrupted phonetic features pertained to velopharyngeal valving, lingual function for consonant contrasts of place and manner, and syllable shape. An acoustic signature analysis based on trajectories of the first and second formants in selected monosyllabic test words revealed that the mean slope of the second formant (F2) was reduced compared with that of a normal geriatric control group. This F2 slope reduction is interpreted to reflect loss of lingual motoneurons. Acoustic measures of phonatory function for sustained vowel prolongation demonstrated abnormalities in fundamental frequency, perturbations of frequency (jitter) and amplitude (shimmer), and signal-to-noise ratio. The data for women with ALS are compared with data for a normal geriatric control group of women and with data for a group of 25 men with ALS (Kent et al., 1990). Although the overall ranking of errors was similar for males and females with ALS, men were more likely to have impairments of voicing in syllable-initial position.

Acknowledgments
We wish to express our deep appreciation to the individuals with the disease of ALS who have given selflessly of their time and effort to this research. We thank Eugene H. Buder for helpful comments on drafts of this manuscript and Hyang-Hee Kim for assistance in analysis of the data. This work was supported in part by NIH Grant No. DC00319 from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Clinical Research Center, Department of Neurology, Center for Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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