SPEAK OUT!� and LOUD Crowd�: Improving Communication Effectiveness in Parkinson's Disease

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Grace Bodenstein Kaitlyn Koewler Maddi Grillo Krista Beyrer


By Grace Bodenstein, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Kaitlyn Koewler, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Maddi Grillo, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor: Krista Beyrer

Presentation ID: AM_B06

Abstract: Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that results from reduction in production of a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. Reduction of dopamine leads to changes in automatic body movement and function, including speech production. The resulting speech disorder is called hypokinetic dysarthria and is characterized by reduced vocal loudness, vocal harshness, hoarseness, breathiness, reduced pitch and imprecise articulation; it affects 90% of people with PD. Since PD affects the automatic system of the brain, the guiding principles of SPEAK OUT!� are based on engaging the intentional system of the brain, that is less dependent on dopamine to function, in order to improve vocal clarity in the person with PD. This is accomplished through a series of 12 +/- intensive individual therapy sessions over a four-week period. Once a person successfully completes SPEAK OUT!�, he/she is eligible to promote carryover of skills within a weekly group therapy setting called LOUD Crowd�. Evidence has shown that by participating in LOUD Crowd�, patients have maintained their SPEAK OUT!� results for a sustained period of time, some for greater than five years. (Parkinson's Voice Project).

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