Phonatory characteristics of Parkinsonian speech before and after morning medication: The ON and OFF states

Alexander Goberman, Carl Coelho, Michael Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


After prolonged treatment with L-dopa, patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) experience fluctuations in motor performance. Changes in voice production have been documented perceptually during periods of fluctuation, but few quantitative changes have been found. The purpose of this study is to examine the acoustic-phonatory characteristics of PD speech before and after taking medication, to determine if fluctuations affected phonation. Nine PD patients participated in this study. Multiple analyses were performed, and revealed that fundamental frequency (Fo) variability in vowels and mean Fo were higher, while intensity range was lower in PD patients compared to controls. When the PD subjects were examined after versus before medication, group differences were small, but phonatory improvements were seen in individual subjects. Discussion focuses on physiological changes and variability in PD, and implications of response fluctuations to speech production. Learning outcomes: As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to (1) acquire knowledge and understanding of PD and the voice characteristics commonly associated with PD and (2) understand the effects of L-dopa-related fluctuations on voice production in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-239
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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