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Effects of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT® LOUD) on Hypomimia in Parkinson's Disease

  • Aleksey I. Dumer (a1) (a2), Harriet Oster (a3), David McCabe (a1) (a2), Laura A. Rabin (a2) (a4), Jennifer L. Spielman (a5), Lorraine O. Ramig (a5) (a6) and Joan C. Borod (a1) (a2) (a7)...

Abstract

Given associations between facial movement and voice, the potential of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) to alleviate decreased facial expressivity, termed hypomimia, in Parkinson's disease (PD) was examined. Fifty-six participants—16 PD participants who underwent LSVT, 12 PD participants who underwent articulation treatment (ARTIC), 17 untreated PD participants, and 11 controls without PD—produced monologues about happy emotional experiences at pre- and post-treatment timepoints (“T1” and “T2,” respectively), 1 month apart. The groups of LSVT, ARTIC, and untreated PD participants were matched on demographic and health status variables. The frequency and variability of facial expressions (Frequency and Variability) observable on 1-min monologue videorecordings were measured using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). At T1, the Frequency and Variability of participants with PD were significantly lower than those of controls. Frequency and Variability increases of LSVT participants from T1 to T2 were significantly greater than those of ARTIC or untreated participants. Whereas the Frequency and Variability of ARTIC participants at T2 were significantly lower than those of controls, LSVT participants did not significantly differ from controls on these variables at T2. The implications of these findings, which suggest that LSVT reduces parkinsonian hypomimia, for PD-related psychosocial problems are considered. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–11)

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Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Aleksey I. Dumer, Center for Enhanced Performance, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York 10996. E-mail: a.dumer@gmail.com

References

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