Intelligibility and the Acoustic Characteristics of Speech in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in specific speech parameters in 14 patients, 7 dysarthric and 7 non-dysarthric, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), over a 6-month period. Measurements of single word intelligibility, F2 formant trajectories (extent, duration and rate) and diadochokinetic rate showed decreased performance in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
Intelligibility and the Acoustic Characteristics of Speech in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Moira Mulligan
    Center for Disorders of Communication Medical Center Hospital of Vermont Burlington
  • Joseph Carpenter
    Department of Medical Biostatistics University of Vermont Burlington
  • Joanne Riddel
    Department of Communication Science and Disorders University of Vermont Burlington
  • Maureen Kenny Delaney
    Center for Disorders of Communication Medical Center Hospital of Vermont Burlington
  • Gary Badger
    Department of Medical Biostatistics University of Vermont Burlington
  • Patricia Krusinski
    Department of Neurology University of Vermont Burlington
  • Rup Tandan
    Department of Neurology University of Vermont Burlington
  • Contact author: Rup Tandan, MD, One South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Voice Disorders / Special Populations / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
Intelligibility and the Acoustic Characteristics of Speech in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 496-503. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.496
History: Received October 25, 1992 , Accepted October 15, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 496-503. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.496
History: Received October 25, 1992; Accepted October 15, 1993

The purpose of this study was to analyze the changes in specific speech parameters in 14 patients, 7 dysarthric and 7 non-dysarthric, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), over a 6-month period. Measurements of single word intelligibility, F2 formant trajectories (extent, duration and rate) and diadochokinetic rate showed decreased performance in dysarthric patients as compared to non-dysarthric patients at baseline. F2 transition rates of less than 4 Hz/msec were seen only in dysarthric ALS patients. A relationship between the F2 transition rate and single word intelligibility was noted for patients with moderate to high intelligibility, but at lower levels of intelligibility the F2 rate reached a plateau despite continued decline in intelligibility. Our results support the need for frequent evaluation of dysarthric ALS patients to better understand the relationship between intelligibility and the acoustic parameters of speech.

Acknowledgments
The research was supported by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Food and Drug Administration (FD-U-000512-03-1), General Clinical Research Center Division of the National Institutes of Health (GCRC #452), and Tyson & Associates, Inc., Hawthorne, CA.
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