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Authors Rahn DA, Chou M, Jiang JJ, Zhang Y
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Journal J Voice Volume: 21 Issue: 1 Pages: 64-71
Publish Date 2007 Jan
PubMed ID 16377130
Abstract

Many persons with Parkinson’s disease (PD) will eventually experience vocal impairment as their condition advances. Using standard perturbation analyses (parameters like jitter and shimmer) to measure fluctuations in phonatory signal may inhibit researchers from recognizing severely disordered patterns that seem to be present in the voices of some PD patients. Nonlinear dynamic analysis can quantify these aperiodic patterns, which indicate severe pathology that is usually characterized perceptually by hoarseness. Here, sustained vowel phonations of a heterogeneous group of PD subjects (20 women and 21 men) were compared with those of a control group (22 women and 18 men) based on results of nonlinear dynamic analyses (D(2)) and perturbation analyses. Results showed PD subjects as a whole to have significantly higher D(2) values than control subjects (P = 0.016), which indicates increased signal complexity in PD vocal pathology. Differences in the comparison of these two groups were significant in jitter (P = 0.014) but nonsignificant in shimmer (P = 0.695). Furthermore, the performance on these three measures was affected by subject sex. Nonlinear dynamic analysis showed significantly higher D(2) in the female PD group than in the female control group (P = 0.001), but jitter and shimmer did not show such a difference. The male PD group had statistically higher jitter than the male control group (P = 0.036), but these groups did not differ in D(2) or shimmer. Overall, nonlinear dynamic analysis may be a valuable method for the diagnosis of Parkinsonian laryngeal pathology.

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