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Parkinsons Dis. 2011;2011:658956. doi: 10.4061/2011/658956. Epub 2011 Oct 19.

Deep brain stimulation of caudal zona incerta and subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson's disease: effects on voice intensity.

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  • 1Division of Speech and Language Pathology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Umeå University, SE-90185 Umeå, Sweden.


Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) affects speech inconsistently. Recently, stimulation of the caudal zona incerta (cZi-DBS) has shown superior motor outcomes for PD patients, but effects on speech have not been systematically investigated. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of cZi-DBS and STN-DBS on voice intensity in PD patients. Mean intensity during reading and intensity decay during rapid syllable repetition were measured for STN-DBS and cZi-DBS patients (eight patients per group), before- and 12 months after-surgery on- and off-stimulation. For mean intensity, there were small significant differences on- versus off-stimulation in each group: 74.2 (2.0) dB contra 72.1 (2.2) dB (P = .002) for STN-DBS, and 71.6 (4.1) dB contra 72.8 (3.4) dB (P = .03) for cZi-DBS, with significant interaction (P < .001). Intensity decay showed no significant changes. The subtle differences found for mean intensity suggest that STN-DBS and cZi-DBS may influence voice intensity differently.

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