Strength, endurance, and stability of the tongue and hand in Parkinson disease

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2000 Feb;43(1):256-67. doi: 10.1044/jslhr.4301.256.


Weakness and fatigue in the orofacial system often are presumed to contribute to the dysarthria associated with neuromotor disorders, although previous research findings are equivocal. In this study, tongue strength, endurance, and stability during a sustained submaximal effort were assessed in 16 persons with mild to severe Parkinson disease (PD) and a perceptible speech disorder. The same measures were taken from one hand for comparison. Only tongue endurance was found to be significantly lower in these participants than in neurologically normal control participants matched for sex, age, weight, and height. Analyses of data from a larger sample comprising the present and retrospective data revealed lower-than-normal tongue strength and endurance in participants with PD. No significant correlations were found between tongue strength and endurance, interpause speech rate, articulatory precision, and overall speech defectiveness for the present and previously studied participants with PD, bringing into question the influence of modest degrees of tongue weakness and fatigue on perceptible speech deficits.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dysarthria / diagnosis*
  • Dysarthria / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tongue / physiopathology*