Improved Verb Use Following Intensive Voice Treatment in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Given the role of voice in language expression, we pose that optimizing vocal function may lead to improved language production. Verbs are often impaired in individuals with PD and it is thought that damage to the motor system, given its connection action verbs, underlies this lexical effect. If this is the case, then treatment improving vocal motor function may also improve access to action verbs. Following an intensive 4-week voice treatment, individuals with PD produced fewer utterances and had decreased mean utterance length, but they also produced more words, morphemes and verbs per utterance. Thus, intervention improving vocal loudness was associated with improved verb use and production of more complex syntax in PD.

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