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Parkinson's Disease and Speech Problems - Topic Overview

Parkinson's disease can affect the muscles of the lips, tongue, throat, voice box (larynx), and lungs, all of which are involved in producing speech. Stiff, slow muscles in these areas may lead to:

  • Low voice volume or soft speech.
  • Imprecise speech sounds.
  • Speaking too fast or too slow.
  • Monotonous voice.
  • Hoarseness.

A speech therapist (also called a speech-language pathologist) can help you learn ways to improve your speech. He or she may provide:

Recommended Related to Parkinson's

Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Usually, the outward symptoms of Parkinson's are distinctive enough for a doctor to make a diagnosis in the office.  There is no blood test or brain scan that confirms the diagnosis. But if you don't respond to the drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, it’s possible you may have another type of movement disorder that causes the same type of symptoms.  Doing additional tests can help your doctor determine if some other problem is causing your parkinsonian symptoms.

Read the Understanding Parkinson's Disease -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

  • Breathing exercises to improve voice volume.
  • Speech exercises to make your sounds clear and precise.
  • Tips to help make your speech rate more regular.
  • Exercises to practice pitch changes when you speak.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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