Speech disorders in Parkinson's disease: pathophysiology, medical management and surgical approaches

Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2018 Oct;8(5):337-348. doi: 10.2217/nmt-2018-0021. Epub 2018 Sep 18.


The prevalence of speech disorders among individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) has been reported to be as high as 89%. Speech impairment in PD results from a combination of motor and nonmotor deficits. The production of speech depends upon the coordination of various motor activities: respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance and prosody. A speech disorder is defined as impairment in any of its inter-related components. Despite the high prevalence of speech disorders in PD, only 3-4% receive speech treatment. Treatment modalities include pharmacological intervention, speech therapy, surgery, deep brain stimulation and vocal fold augmentation. Although management of Parkinsonian dysarthria is clinically challenging, speech treatment in PD should be part of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care in this disease.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; dysarthria; hypophonia; levodopa; speech; therapy; vocal fold augmentation; voice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Speech Disorders / etiology
  • Speech Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Speech Disorders / therapy*