Impact of Typical Aging and Parkinson’s Disease on the Relationship Among Breath Pausing, Syntax, and Punctuation Purpose The present study examines the impact of typical aging and Parkinson’s disease (PD) on the relationship among breath pausing, syntax, and punctuation. Method Thirty young adults, 25 typically aging older adults, and 15 individuals with PD participated. Fifteen participants were age- and sex-matched to the individuals with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2012
Impact of Typical Aging and Parkinson’s Disease on the Relationship Among Breath Pausing, Syntax, and Punctuation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica E. Huber
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Meghan Darling
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Elaine J. Francis
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Dabao Zhang
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Correspondence to Jessica E. Huber: jhuber@purdue.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Carl Coelho
    Associate Editor: Carl Coelho×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Article
Research Article   |   November 01, 2012
Impact of Typical Aging and Parkinson’s Disease on the Relationship Among Breath Pausing, Syntax, and Punctuation
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2012, Vol. 21, 368-379. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0059)
History: Received June 15, 2011 , Revised January 25, 2012 , Accepted May 28, 2012
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2012, Vol. 21, 368-379. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0059)
History: Received June 15, 2011; Revised January 25, 2012; Accepted May 28, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

Purpose The present study examines the impact of typical aging and Parkinson’s disease (PD) on the relationship among breath pausing, syntax, and punctuation.

Method Thirty young adults, 25 typically aging older adults, and 15 individuals with PD participated. Fifteen participants were age- and sex-matched to the individuals with PD. Participants read a passage aloud 2 times. Utterance length, location of breath pauses relative to punctuation and syntax, and number of disfluencies and mazes were measured.

Results Older adults produced shorter utterances, a smaller percentage of breaths at major boundaries, and a greater percentage of breaths at minor boundaries than did young adults, but there was no significant difference between older adults and individuals with PD on these measures. Individuals with PD took a greater percentage of breaths at locations unrelated to a syntactic boundary than did control participants. Individuals with PD produced more mazes than did control participants. Breaths were significantly correlated with punctuation for all groups.

Conclusions Changes in breath-pausing patterns in older adults are likely due to changes in respiratory physiology. However, in individuals with PD, such changes appear to result from a combination of changes to respiratory physiology and cognition.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grant 1R03DC05731, a Research Support Incentive Grant from the Center on Aging and the Life Course at Purdue University, and a Summer Faculty Support Grant from Purdue University. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIDCD, the National Institutes of Health, the Center on Aging and the Life Course, or Purdue University.
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