A Description of Phonetic, Acoustic, and Physiological Changes Associated With Improved Intelligibility in a Speaker With Spastic Dysarthria Spastic dysarthria is a motor speech disorder produced by bilateral damage to the direct (pyramidal) and indirect (extrapyramidal) activation pathways of the central nervous system. This case report describes the recovery of an individual with severe spastic dysarthria and illustrates the close relationship between intelligibility measures and acoustic and physiological ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   August 01, 2001
A Description of Phonetic, Acoustic, and Physiological Changes Associated With Improved Intelligibility in a Speaker With Spastic Dysarthria
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nelson Roy, PhD
    The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Herbert A. Leeper
    The University of Western Ontario, London
  • Michael Blomgren
    The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Rosalea M. Cameron
    The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Contact author: Nelson Roy, PhD, University of Utah, Department of Communication Disorders, 390 South 1530 East, Room 1219, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0252.
    Contact author: Nelson Roy, PhD, University of Utah, Department of Communication Disorders, 390 South 1530 East, Room 1219, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0252.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: nelson.roy@health.utah.edu
Article Information
Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   August 01, 2001
A Description of Phonetic, Acoustic, and Physiological Changes Associated With Improved Intelligibility in a Speaker With Spastic Dysarthria
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2001, Vol. 10, 274-290. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/025)
History: Received September 28, 2000 , Accepted March 19, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2001, Vol. 10, 274-290. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2001/025)
History: Received September 28, 2000; Accepted March 19, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Spastic dysarthria is a motor speech disorder produced by bilateral damage to the direct (pyramidal) and indirect (extrapyramidal) activation pathways of the central nervous system. This case report describes the recovery of an individual with severe spastic dysarthria and illustrates the close relationship between intelligibility measures and acoustic and physiological parameters. Detailed phonetic feature analyses combined with acoustic and physiological information helped to clarify (a) the loci of the intelligibility deficit, (b) the features of deviant speech whose improvement would lead to the greatest gains with treatment, and (c) the changes contributing to improvement in intelligibility observed over a 30-month treatment/recovery period. Though auditory-perceptual analysis remains the foundation of day-to-day dysarthria assessment, this case illustrates the potential for instrumental assessment to (a) supplement perceptual assessment techniques, (b) parse speech subsystem deficits, and (c) track the effects of interventions.

Author Note
This article is dedicated to the memory of Herbert A. (Andy) Leeper, who touched the lives of many.
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