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    • #19258
      David Lyons
      Participant

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      <div dir=”auto”>90% of people with Parkinson’s are likely to experience speech difficulty (Ho, et al., 1998; Perez-Lloret, et al., 2012), and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing deficits accounts for 70% of the mortality rate (Mehanna, et al., 2010). We use the same muscles for speech and swallowing.</div>
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    • #19263
      Toni Shapiro
      Participant

      Hi David,

      I am at the stage where I have to use a walker and other aids to assist me.  Even though I am probably past midway with PD I think I still have a strong voice.  I choke on my food and pills a lot of the time but my voice remains  good although sometimes when off or talking on the phone too long I get hoarse. I do nothing purposefully to keep it strong but I hum constantly, day in day out.  My PD counselor said that humming is an exercise she gives PD clients to strengthen the voice.  I guess you could say that is what I am doing to keep my voice strong even though it’s unconscious.

    • #19267
      David Lyons
      Participant

      Toni,

      I am glad that you are aware of the importance of a strong voice. The important thing is to make sure that it stays strong. I am no doctor, but if I were choking on food and pills I would be concerned. Here’s what I have learned: Dopamine is  the neurotransmitter that is responsible for the smooth running of the “automatic” actions of our bodies (arm swing, speaking, swallowing, walking, grasping). The dopamine deficiency associated with PD causes the automatic system to fail. We must compensate by being intentional. Additionally, I think that it is well-known that PWPs have a perception deficit as well, that is to say we think we are taking big steps, we think we are swinging our arms, we think we are speaking in a strong manner. What I read in your post was “I think I still have a strong voice.” Do this for me: take out your phone and record a video of yourself giving instructions on how to get to the nearest grocery store using your normal voice. Then play it back and determine if it is loud enough, strong enough and clear enough. Now, do it again, but this time imagine someone has pulled over in a car to ask directions, but didn’t turn off the car or his radio. How do the two compare? The thing to remember is that we need to work on our voices/swallowing for the future, regardless of how strong we think it is now. A little tongue-in-cheek, but when was the last time you hummed your order to the waiter at a noisy restaurant? I just want to encourage you to try the voice practice one time. Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1 at 10:00am central time: Parkinson Voice Project Facebook page — great day to start. When you join the Live event, please give me a shout out in the comments. I look forward to seeing your name scroll through the comments section tomorrow. AND, most of all, thank you for contributing to this thread.

       

    • #19268
      David Lyons
      Participant

      I am not sure what happened to my initial post, with all that HTML stuff in there. It should have read:

      90% of people with Parkinson’s are likely to experience speech difficulty (Ho, et al., 1998; Perez-Lloret, et al., 2012), and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing deficits accounts for 70% of the mortality rate (Mehanna, et al., 2010).  We use the same muscles for speaking AND swallowing.

      Left untreated, people with Parkinson’s will likely spend their final 10+ years unable to speak clearly and are at high risk of requiring feeding tubes and experiencing choking episodes and aspiration pneumonia.

      Parkinson Voice Project has a  30 minute Facebook Live voice practice session each weekday morning at 1000am central time and Tuesday at 630pm central time. These are specifically designed to help us strength our voices for today and tomorrow. We’re in this together, let’s practice together.

    • #19273
      Toni Shapiro
      Participant

      Hi David,

      Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.  I am aware of the connection between voice and swallowing which is why I mentioned my swallowing issues on your voice post.  My PD counselor tells me my voice is strong for having PD so I find it strange that I  have difficulty swallowing yet have a strong voice. She thinks it may be because of my constant humming and that I consciously raise my voice loud on a daily basis to speak to my husband and my mother who are both hard of hearing. Yes, it’s true that I can think I am doing something but realize I may not be correct. I will try your suggestion of taping myself. Thank you for the information on the Parkinsons Voice Project.  I think that last year Parkinsons News had an article on it. It looks like they are  doing great things. Although the website it says you do not need a Facebook account to join the webcam, when I went to enroll it appeared I would have a Facebook account and I don’t want one.  I will investigate further as anything to do with my throat scares me.

    • #19274
      David Lyons
      Participant

      I am glad you tried to engage. When it asks if you want to join FB I think you click “not now”, “maybe later”, I don’t remember, but you don’t have to have an account… you will be unable to comment without one which is no big deal.

      Now, I don’t want to hound you, I just want the best for everyone that encounter. And, this may be splitting hairs, but you your PD counselor tells you that your “voice is strong for having PD”. I wished she had told you your voice was strong as if you didn’t have PD! With that I would encourage you and your PD counselor to visit http://www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org and view the short information session video. Have a great day!

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