Parkinson's Disease (Effect on Voice)

Contact Information

Voice and Swallow Clinic, UW Hospital
(608) 263-6190


Pediatric Voice and Swallow Clinic, American Family Children's Hospital
(608) 265-7760


Voice Clinic, 1 S. Park

(608) 287-2500

UW Health physicians and support staff provide specialized voice care for patients with Parkinson's Disease, a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that results in a loss of motor and communicative skills. Signs of the disease include rigidity, tremor, amplitude of movement and slow movement.
Learn more about Parkinson's Disease
Voice and Parkinson's Disease
Communication is important at all stages of life. Human communicate ideas to others through words, facial and bodily movements. However, communication is often inhibited for patients with Parkinson's Disease.
The most common communication problem associated with Parkinson's Disease is vocal loudness. Individuals with Parkinson's Disease have been measured to be about 10 decibels lower in volume to the average listener.
Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®)
Increased vocal effort has been an effective technique in improving vocal loudness and voice quality in patients with Parkinson's Disease. A level-one, evidenced-based therapy program designed specifically for individuals with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease, LSVT® focuses on motor speech and voice.
Treatment improves the following areas of communication:
  • Vocal loudness
  • Articulation
  • Voice quality

LSVT® is administered on an intensive schedule of 16 individual sessions in one month. Therapy focuses on vocal loudness, effort and carryover to everyday conversation. Evaluation and treatment is provided by an LSVT® certified technician and includes a complete case history, videostroboscopic (digital slow-motion video) and acoustic evaluation of the vocal folds and voice production.