Hypophonia in Parkinson's disease: Neural correlates of voice treatment revealed by PET

Mario Liotti, L. O. Ramig, D. Vogel, P. New, C. I. Cook, R. J. Ingham, J. C. Ingham, P. T. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the neural correlates of hypophonia in individuals with idiopathic PD (IPD) before and after voice treatment with the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment method (VT) using 15O-H2O PET. Methods: Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) changes associated with overt speech-motor tasks relative to the resting state were measured in the IPD subjects before and after VT, and in a group of healthy control volunteers. Results: Behavioral measures of voice loudness significantly improved following treatment. Before VT, patients had strong speech-related activations in motor and premotor cortex (M1-mouth, supplementary motor cortex [SMA], and inferior lateral premotor cortex [ILPm]), which were significantly reduced post-VT. Similar to the post-treatment session, premotor activations were absent (SMA) or below statistical threshold (M1-mouth) in the healthy control group. In addition, following VT treatment, significant right-sided activations were present in anterior insular cortex, caudate head, putamen, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Finally, the VT-induced neural changes were not present with transient experimenter-cued increases of loudness in VT-untreated patients. Conclusions: Effective improvement of IPD hypophonia following voice treatment with VT was accompanied by a reduction of cortical motor-premotor activations, resembling the functional pattern observed in healthy volunteers and suggesting normalization, and additional recruitment of right anterior insula, caudate head, putamen, and DLPFC. This treatment-dependent functional reorganization suggests a shift from an abnormally effortful (premotor cortex) to a more automatic (basal ganglia, anterior insula) implementation of speech-motor actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-440
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 11 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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