Preliminary evidence suggests that speech treatment could improve difficulty speaking in ARSACS – Ataxia

Preliminary evidence suggests that speech treatment could improve difficulty speaking in ARSACS

Preliminary evidence suggests that speech treatment could improve difficulty speaking in ARSACS

A recently published study has demonstrated that intensive home-based speech therapy can improve dysarthria (difficulty speaking) in autosomal recessive spastic ataxia Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS).

Speech deficits in ARSACS are known to affect intelligibility, vocal control, and prosody (the appropriate manipulation of duration, loudness, and pitch). The treatment tested was specifically designed to target these three functions. It was designed with patients in mind and considered a number of important factors to make it easy to perform e.g. completing the therapy at home.

Seven individuals with genetically confirmed ARSACS were recruited from the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany and Alfred Health, Melbourne Australia. The effect of the speech treatment tailored to cerebellar dysarthria was examined via a 4-week long programme. Participants were rated on their ‘intelligibility’ (ability to be understood) and ‘naturalness’ (degree to which individuals sound ‘di?erent’ from people without ataxia) 4 weeks before, immediately prior to, and directly after training. During the intervention period, subjects trained about 45 min per day, 5 days per week, for 4 weeks at their homes. Training was monitored by weekly telephone calls by a speech therapist.

Speech intelligibility and naturalness were found to improve after treatment. Additionally, the treatment achieved a 100% percent completion rate. This provides preliminary evidence that ataxia-tailored speech treatment might be effective in degenerative cerebellar ataxia, however, further studies still need to be done in larger groups of people and in other types of ataxias. The authors of the study say these are their priorities for future research.

View the abstract for the study here. 

Posted on 09/04/2019

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
fundraise image

FUNDRAISE FOR US

Take part in a challenge or create your fundraiser. Every penny you raise will help those affected by ataxia.

Donate Image

DONATE

To make either a one off or recurring donation which will help fund research into treatments and cures and supports those affected ataxia

Volunteer Image

VOLUNTEER WITH US

Support the ataxia community and volunteer with Ataxia UK. From social media to telephone befriending, there are loads of ways you can make a difference to someone's life.

Donate Now
Welcome to our new site! We hope you like it.
As it's brand new, there may be a few temporary glitches such as broken links - we are working on getting these all fixed ASAP. If you'd like to give us any feedback or let us know if something isn't quite right, please email website@ataxia.org.uk
+
Scroll to Top