Aspects of oral communication in patients with Parkinson's disease submitted to Deep Brain Stimulation

Codas. 2016 Jul-Aug;28(4):480-5. doi: 10.1590/2317-1782/20162015169. Epub 2016 Aug 18.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Introduction: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has been satisfactorily used to control the cardinal motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), but little is known about its impact on communication.

Purpose: This study aimed to characterize the aspects of cognition, language, speech, voice, and self-perception in two patients with PD, pre- and post- DBS implant surgery.

Methods: The patients were assessed using a cognitive screening test, a brief language evaluation, a self-declared protocol, and an analysis of the aspects of voice and speech, which was conducted by a specialized Speech-language Therapist who was blinded for the study.

Results: At the pre-surgery assessment, Case I showed impairment regarding the aspects of cognition, language and voice, whereas Case II showed impairment only with respect to the voice aspect. The post-surgery evaluation of the cases showed an opposite pattern of the effect of DBS after analysis of the communication data: Case I, who presented greater impairment before the surgery, showed improvement in some aspects; Case II, who presented lower communicative impairment before the surgery, showed worsening in other aspects.

Conclusion: This study shows that DBS may influence different communication aspects both positively and negatively. Factors associated with the different effects caused by DBS on the communication of patients with PD need to be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Cognition
  • Communication*
  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Parkinson Disease / surgery
  • Self Concept
  • Speech
  • Voice Quality