If you know anything about Parkinson’s disease, you know that it is a sneaky disease that often causes changes in the body even before symptoms occur, and this includes speech. A low voice, monotone pitch, and altered rate are some of the common speech problems experienced by individuals with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Add to those, mild changes in memory or other aspects of cognition, and day to day communication can be a chore.

Speech therapy approaches such as LSVT® LOUD and SPEAK OUT! ® can be beneficial for many people, but, both require a willingness to complete the full protocol of treatment, home practice, and some sort of maintenance program following formal treatment. The ongoing practice and maintenance is the challenge for many patients, and over time, if they stop doing the exercises, and the disease marches on, short term gains may be lost in the long term.

Louder and Clearer Speech in One Office Visit

SpeechVive

What if, you could attain an improved level of loudness and speech clarity in one office visit and retain the improvement no matter who you are talking to or what setting you are speaking in?

The SpeechVive is a device intervention that works by detecting when a patient speaks, and at that time, the device plays a background noise in one of the patient’s ears, eliciting the Lombard Effect, a well known phenomenon where speakers naturally speak louder under conditions of background noise.  When the patient is not speaking, SpeechVive does not deliver babble noise to the ear. In the first round of clinical trials conducted by researcher, Jessica Huber, PhD at Purdue, over 80% of patients showed immediate improvement from simply wearing the device for the first time

The SpeechVive device is not magic, rather, it takes advantage of a patient’s own physiology, enabling them to use the speech and voice muscles more efficiently, without any added work of something to remember or self-monitor, making it a good option for individuals with memory problems. Once the device is programmed by a speech-language pathologist, the patient wears it every day just like a hearing aid. The device also collects data about device usage which may be helpful in setting speech goals and also may be helpful in helping researchers better understand the effect of Parkinson’s medications on speech production.

To learn more visit: http://www.speechvive.com/

Live in SW Florida? Contact Mary Spremulli,MA,CCC-SLP, Owner, Voice Aerobics, and schedule an evaluation and SpeechVive trial. The SpeechVive medical device is available to eligible veterans through the Veterans Administration, and you can request a trial.

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