Motor impairment in Wilson's disease, II: Slowness of speech

Acta Neurol Scand. 1993 Feb;87(2):148-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1993.tb04093.x.


The maximal syllable production rate (MSPR) and the ability to reproduce a given target frequency in the 1 to 8 Hz range by repeating the short syllable "ta" was tested in 20 patients with Wilson's disease (WD) and 20 normal subjects. MSPR was significantly reduced in the WD-patients. In the 1 to 5 Hz range normal subjects as well as WD-patients tended to produce slightly higher frequencies than the target frequencies. This hastening was maximal in normals between 4 to 5 Hz whereas in the WD-patients hastening mainly occurred between 3 to 4 Hz. The test results showed a considerable variation across the patients. This variation can be interpreted on the basis of the theory of coupled oscillators. Comparison of speech and finger movements revealed a highly significant correlation between MSPR and the highest possible frequency of voluntary alternating index finger movements. As an application of the presented test treatment effects on speech movements were demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia / drug effects
  • Basal Ganglia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / drug therapy
  • Hepatolenticular Degeneration / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / physiology
  • Male
  • Microcomputers
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Penicillamine / therapeutic use
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Sound Spectrography / instrumentation
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Verbal Behavior / drug effects
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*


  • Penicillamine