Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience

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Does the unified Parkinson's disease rating scale adequately estimate severity of dysarthria?

Kristie A Spencer*, Katherine A Brown and Gillian Elder

Background: Speech decline is a common and detrimental complication of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) is typically used by the medical community to gauge the presence and severity of PD symptoms, including dysarthria. Accurately tracking the presence and severity of dysarthria has important implications for differential diagnosis, disease course, and therapeutic response.

Objectives: To determine the relationship between Movement Disorder Society (MDS) UPDRS ratings and gold standard speech intelligibility transcription scores.

Methods: Twenty-seven speakers with PD provided monologue speech samples. MDS-UPDRS ratings of speech were compared to average speech intelligibility scores attained by three naïve judges.

Results: MDS-UPDRS ratings and speech intelligibility calculations were significantly correlated.

Conclusion: The significant relationship between these two severity indicators provides preliminary evidence of criterion validity and suggests that the single MDS-UPDRS question is reflective of overall speech severity as determined by the gold standard of mean intelligibility transcription scores.

Published Date: 2022-04-30; Received Date: 2022-03-25