Objectives: The physiological manifestations of Parkinson disease are heterogeneous, as evidenced by disease subtypes. Dysphonia has been well documented as an early and progressively significant impairment associated with the disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate how acoustic and aerodynamic measures of vocal function were affected by Parkinson tremor subtype (phenotype) in an effort to better understand the heterogeneity of voice impairment severity in Parkinson disease.
Study design: This is a prospective case-control study.
Methods: Thirty-two speakers with Parkinson disease assigned to tremor and nontremor phenotypes and 10 healthy controls were recruited. Sustained vowels and connected speech were recorded from each speaker. Acoustic measures of cepstral peak prominence (CPP) and aerodynamic measures of transglottal airflow (TAF) were calculated from the recorded acoustic and aerodynamic waveforms.
Results: Speakers with a nontremor dominant phenotype exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) lower CPP and higher TAF in vowels compared with the tremor dominant phenotype and control speakers, who were not different from each other. No significant group differences were observed for CPP or TAF in connected speech.
Conclusions: When producing vowels, participants with nontremor dominant phenotype exhibited reduced phonation periodicity and elevated TAF compared with tremor dominant and control participants. This finding is consistent with differential limb-motor and cognitive impairments between tremor and nontremor phenotypes reported in the extant literature. Results suggest that sustained vowel production may be sensitive to phonatory control as a function of Parkinson tremor phenotype in mild to moderate stages of the disease.
Keywords: Acoustic analysis; Cepstral peak prominence; Dysphonia; Parkinson disease; Transglottal airflow.
Copyright © 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.