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Stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus area in Parkinson's disease: effects on speech and intelligibility.
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Brain 2014 Oct; 137(Pt 10):2759-72
Authors: Serge Pinto, Murielle Ferraye, Robert Espesser, Valérie Fraix, Audrey Maillet, Jennifer Guirchoum, Deborah Layani-Zemour, Alain Ghio, Stéphan Chabardès, Pierre Pollak, Bettina Debû
Improvement of gait disorders following pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease has previously been reported and led us to propose this surgical treatment to patients who progressively developed severe gait disorders and freezing despite optimal dopaminergic drug treatment and subthalamic nucleus stimulation. The outcome of our prospective study on the first six patients was somewhat mitigated, as freezing of gait and falls related to freezing were improved by low frequency electrical stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus area in some, but not all, patients. Here, we report the speech data prospectively collected in these patients with Parkinson's disease. Indeed, because subthalamic nucleus surgery may lead to speech impairment and a worsening of dysarthria in some patients with Parkinson's disease, we felt it was important to precisely examine any possible modulations of speech for a novel target for deep brain stimulation. Our results suggested a trend towards speech degradation related to the pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery (off stimulation) for aero-phonatory control (maximum phonation time), phono-articulatory coordination (oral diadochokinesis) and speech intelligibility. Possibly, the observed speech degradation may also be linked to the clinical characteristics of the group of patients. The influence of pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation per se was more complex, depending on the nature of the task: it had a deleterious effect on maximum phonation time and oral diadochokinesis, and mixed effects on speech intelligibility. Whereas levodopa intake and subthalamic nucleus stimulation alone had no and positive effects on speech dimensions, respectively, a negative interaction between the two treatments was observed both before and after pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery. This combination effect did not seem to be modulated by pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation. Although limited in our group of patients, speech impairment following pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation is a possible outcome that should be considered before undertaking such surgery. Deleterious effects could be dependent on electrode insertion in this brainstem structure, more than on current spread to nearby structures involved in speech control. The effect of deep brain stimulation on speech in patients with Parkinson's disease remains a challenging and exploratory research area.
PMID: 25080284 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]