Functional Imaging of Speech in Parkinson’s Disease


John J. Sidtis, Ph.D., L.P.
Diana Van Lancker, Ph.D., CCC/SLP
New York University, New York

Dysarthria, or speech abnormality, is a part of the bradykinesia (or slowness of movement) that characterizes PD in patients. Using an imaging procedure that identifies brain activity (PET scanning), Drs. John J. Sidtis and Diana Van Lancker (New York University) and David Eidelberg (North Shore University Hospital) will compare scans of six early and six advanced PD patients with those of six age-matched healthy control subjects while speaking. This study will use PET scanning and speech performance measures to pinpoint the functional anatomic location of dysarthria in the brain. This is a pilot project. The data from this study should lead to an NIH-supported study that, it is hoped, will lead to therapeutic measures to normalize speech difficulties in PD sufferers.