Spoken Language Production in Huntington's and Parkinson's Diseases The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence and nature of spoken language deficits in Huntington's (HD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases. Specifically, the study examined whether (a) the spoken language abilities of patients with HD or PD differ from those of age-matched control participants with no brain damage, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2000
Spoken Language Production in Huntington's and Parkinson's Diseases
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura L. Murray
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences Indiana University Bloomington
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: LMURRAY@indiana.edu
  • Contact author: Laura Murray, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, 200 S. Jordan Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405. Email: LMURRAY@indiana.edu
    Contact author: Laura Murray, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, 200 S. Jordan Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405. Email: LMURRAY@indiana.edu×
Article Information
Special Populations / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2000
Spoken Language Production in Huntington's and Parkinson's Diseases
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1350-1366. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1350
History: Received May 22, 2000 , Accepted September 25, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2000, Vol. 43, 1350-1366. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4306.1350
History: Received May 22, 2000; Accepted September 25, 2000

The purpose of this study was to investigate the presence and nature of spoken language deficits in Huntington's (HD) and Parkinson's (PD) diseases. Specifically, the study examined whether (a) the spoken language abilities of patients with HD or PD differ from those of age-matched control participants with no brain damage, (b) HD and PD are associated with similar spoken language profiles, and (c) the spoken language abilities of patients with HD or PD are related to the severity of their motor speech deficits, cognitive impairments, or both. All participants completed picture description tasks and a battery of cognitive and motor speech tests. Syntactic, quantitative, and informativeness measures of spoken language were analyzed. In terms of syntax, patients with HD produced shorter utterances, a smaller proportion of grammatical utterances, a larger proportion of simple sentences, and fewer embeddings per utterance than their non-brain-damaged peers. The HD group also produced utterances that were shorter and syntactically simpler than those of the PD group, despite similar performances on the cognitive and motor speech tests. The only syntactic difference between the PD group and their control group was that patients with PD produced a smaller proportion of grammatical sentences. Although the patient and control participants tended to produce similar amounts of verbal output, less of what the patients said was considered informative. Correlations between language measures and test battery results suggested that the spoken language abilities of patients with HD or PD are related to a variety of neuropsychological and motor speech changes. The implications of these findings for the clinical management of HD and PD are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The author would like to thank Lisa Lenz and Julie Stout for their assistance with data collection. This project was supported by Indiana University's Multidisciplinary Ventures Fund.
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