Prosodic characteristics of Parkinsonian speech: The effect of levodopa-based medication

Alexander M. Goberman, Carl A. Coelho, Michael Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) typically experience fluctuations in motor performance after years of treatment with the medication levodopa. The purpose of this study was to provide an acoustic profile of prosodic characteristics of speech produced by individuals with PD across treatment-related fluctuations. Specifically, data were collected in three conditions: before morning medication, 1 hour after morning medication, and 2 hours after medication. Nine individuals with PD participated in this study. Compared to age-matched controls, the participants demonstrated increased percent pause times, decreased speech rate, and decreased standard deviation of fundamental frequency, but no differences were found in articulation rate. After taking medication, few changes were noted, although descriptive analysis revealed improvements in percent pause time that continued for the first 2 hours after taking medication. The current results support the conclusion that patients with PD demonstrate speech prosody deficits that are alleviated in some individuals after the administration of levodopabased medication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-68
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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