Expiratory and phonation times as measures of disease severity in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. A case-control study

Sara Nordio, Evanthia Bernitsas, Francesca Meneghello, Katie Palmer, Maria Rosaria Stabile, Laura Dipietro, Arianna Di Stadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Speech disorders are common in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). They can be assessed with several methods, which are however expensive, complex, and not easily accessible to physicians during routine clinic visits. This study aimed at measuring maximum phonation times, maximum expiratory times, and articulation abilities scores in patients with MS compared to healthy subjects and at investigating if any of these parameters could be used as a measure of MS progression. Methods: 50 MS patients and 50 gender- and age-matched healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Maximum expiratory times and maximum phonation times were collected from both groups. Articulation abilities were evaluated using the articulation subtest from the Fussi assessment (dysarthria scores). MS patients were evaluated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Correlations between EDSS scores and maximum expiratory times, maximum phonation times, and dysarthria scores were calculated. Results: EDSS scores of MS patients ranged from 4.5 to 7.5. In MS patients, maximum expiratory times, maximum phonation times, and dysarthria scores were significantly altered compared to healthy controls. Moreover, the EDSS scores were correlated with the maximum expiratory times; the maximum expiratory times were correlated with the maximum phonation times, and the maximum phonation times were correlated with the dysarthria scores. Conclusions: As the expiratory times were significantly correlated with the EDSS scores, they could be used to measure the severity of MS and to monitor its progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2018

Keywords

  • Dysarthria
  • EDSS
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Speech disorders
  • Speech evaluation methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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