Author(s): Miet DE LETTER, Patrick S ANTENS
The effect of speech rate on overall intelligibility in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is still a matter of debate. A comparison of the results of previous studies on speech rate in PD is hampered by methodological differences. In this study, we evaluated the effects of levodopa on speech rate and on its variability in a standardized read- ing task. Twenty-five patients were studied before and after levodopa administration while reading a standard- ized text. In accordance with previous studies, no signif- icant improvement of speech rate was found. Rather an increased variability of speech rate in the on-medication state could be demonstrated. It is possible that this increased variability may be the consequence of respi- ratory deficits due to levodopa-induced dyskinesia or an increase of dysfluencies. However, the effects of defec- tive auditory feedback and disturbed executive function cannot be ruled out.