Research Note  |   December 2009
Relief of Acquired Stuttering Associated With Parkinson’s Disease by Unilateral Left Subthalamic Brain Stimulation
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Harrison C. Walker, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 7th Avenue, South Birmingham, AL 35212. E-mail: hcwalker@uab.edu.
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Research Note   |   December 2009
Relief of Acquired Stuttering Associated With Parkinson’s Disease by Unilateral Left Subthalamic Brain Stimulation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research December 2009, Vol.52, 1652-1657. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0089)
History: Accepted 08 Mar 2009 , Received 26 Apr 2008 , Revised 09 Dec 2008
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research December 2009, Vol.52, 1652-1657. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0089)
History: Accepted 08 Mar 2009 , Received 26 Apr 2008 , Revised 09 Dec 2008

Purpose: In this article, the authors report a case of acquired stuttering associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) that was responsive to unilateral subthalamic nucleus deep-brain stimulation (STN DBS) in the language-dominant hemisphere.

Method: A single-subject, masked, multiple baseline design was used to evaluate the effects of unilateral left STN DBS on stuttering associated with PD. The patient underwent 3 formal speech assessments of spontaneous speech and the reading of passages with DBS off and on. Speech samples were videotaped and placed in random order, and 2 independent speech-language pathologists calculated the percentage of stuttered syllables and classified individual stuttering events.

Results: Stuttering improved significantly in the DBS-on condition. In total, 10% of syllables were affected by stuttering events with DBS off, and less than 1% of syllables were affected by stuttering events with DBS on (n = 2,281 syllables, p < .00001, in a χ2 test). The effect of unilateral STN DBS on stuttering was relatively independent of whether the patient was on or off dopaminergic medications.

Conclusion: This article emphasizes the important role of the subthalamic region in the motor control of speech and language.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access

Related Articles

CE Introduction
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders June 2010, Vol.20, 29-30. doi:10.1044/nnsld20.2.29
Speech and Cognitive-Linguistic Function in Parkinson’s Disease
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders June 2010, Vol.20, 31-38. doi:10.1044/nnsld20.2.31
Cognitive Strategies for Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology May 2012, Vol.17, 60-68. doi:10.1044/gero17.2.60
A Noninvasive Imaging Approach to Understanding Speech Changes Following Deep Brain Stimulation in Parkinson’s Disease
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology May 2009, Vol.18, 146-161. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/08-0004)
Telepractice Supported Delivery of LSVT®LOUD
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders October 2011, Vol.21, 107-119. doi:10.1044/nnsld21.3.107