The Parkinson larynx: tremor and videostroboscopic findings

J Voice. 1996 Dec;10(4):354-61. doi: 10.1016/s0892-1997(96)80027-0.


Patients with Parkinson's disease have a high incidence of speech, voice, and laryngeal abnormalities. To characterize laryngeal abnormalities, visual-perceptual ratings of endoscopic and stroboscopic examinations of 22 patients diagnosed with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and 7 patients with Parkinson's-plus syndromes were carried out by for trained viewers. Incidence of tremor, tremor location, phase closure, phase symmetry, amplitude, and mucosal waveform were scored. Tremor was observed in one or more of these conditions-rest, normal pitch and loudness, or loud phonation-for most of the 29 patients. Fifty-five percent of the idiopathic Parkinson's disease patients had tremor, with the primary location being vertical laryngeal tremor. Sixty-four percent of the Parkinson's-plus patients had tremor, with the arytenoid cartilages being the primary location. Laryngeal tremor was observed early in the disease in these Parkinson's disease patients. The most striking stroboscopic findings for the idiopathic Parkinson's disease patients were abnormal phase closure and phase asymmetry. Amplitude and mucosal wave-form were essentially within normal limits in the majority of the idiopathic Parkinson patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Endoscopy*
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy*
  • Larynx / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Tremor / complications*
  • Voice Disorders / complications*
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Voice Quality