Neurogenic Orofacial Weakness and Speech in Adults With Dysarthria Purpose This study compared orofacial strength between adults with dysarthria and neurologically normal (NN) matched controls. In addition, orofacial muscle weakness was examined for potential relationships to speech impairments in adults with dysarthria. Method Matched groups of 55 adults with dysarthria and 55 NN adults generated maximum pressure ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 15, 2017
Neurogenic Orofacial Weakness and Speech in Adults With Dysarthria
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Pearl Solomon
    National Military Audiology & Speech Pathology Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
  • Matthew J. Makashay
    National Military Audiology & Speech Pathology Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
  • Leah B. Helou
    National Military Audiology & Speech Pathology Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
    Systems Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh, PA
  • Heather M. Clark
    Department of Neurology, Speech Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • Disclosure : The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure : The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Nancy Pearl Solomon: nancy.p.solomon.civ@mail.mil
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer
    Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 15, 2017
Neurogenic Orofacial Weakness and Speech in Adults With Dysarthria
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 951-960. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0144
History: Received August 24, 2016 , Revised December 23, 2016 , Accepted March 7, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 951-960. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0144
History: Received August 24, 2016; Revised December 23, 2016; Accepted March 7, 2017

Purpose This study compared orofacial strength between adults with dysarthria and neurologically normal (NN) matched controls. In addition, orofacial muscle weakness was examined for potential relationships to speech impairments in adults with dysarthria.

Method Matched groups of 55 adults with dysarthria and 55 NN adults generated maximum pressure (Pmax) against an air-filled bulb during lingual elevation, protrusion and lateralization, and buccodental and labial compressions. These orofacial strength measures were compared with speech intelligibility, perceptual ratings of speech, articulation rate, and fast syllable-repetition rate.

Results The dysarthria group demonstrated significantly lower orofacial strength than the NN group on all tasks. Lingual strength correlated moderately and buccal strength correlated weakly with most ratings of speech deficits. Speech intelligibility was not sensitive to dysarthria severity. Individuals with severely reduced anterior lingual elevation Pmax (< 18 kPa) had normal to profoundly impaired sentence intelligibility (99%–6%) and moderately to severely impaired speech (26%–94% articulatory imprecision; 33%–94% overall severity).

Conclusions Results support the presence of orofacial muscle weakness in adults with dysarthrias of varying etiologies but reinforce tenuous links between orofacial strength and speech production disorders. By examining individual data, preliminary evidence emerges to suggest that speech, but not necessarily intelligibility, is likely to be impaired when lingual weakness is severe.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R03 DC06096, awarded to Nancy Pearl Solomon, the Department of Clinical Investigation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a grant from Appalachian State University Research Council, awarded to Heather M. Clark. The authors appreciate the assistance of Leslie Kessler, Carrie Lopez, Marybeth McKhee, Lisa Newman, and Shayna Solomon. Portions of this study were presented at the Conference on Motor Speech in March 2008 in Monterey, California, and at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in November 2011 in San Diego, California. The identification of specific products or scientific instrumentation does not constitute endorsement or implied endorsement on the part of the author, Department of Defense, or any component agency. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of Defense or U.S. Government.
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