Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the part of the brain that controls your body.

A person who has Parkinson’s Disease may experience slow voluntary movements, tremors, frequent falls, decreased muscle tone, speech and swallowing difficulties and reduced frequency of eye blinking.

  • Those living with Parkinson’s Disease may experience speech and language difficulties in the following areas:
    • Dysarthria: A motor speech disorder that causes slurred speech due to muscle weakness. A person with Dysarthria may have slurred speech, be difficult to understand, speak slowly, experience vocal changes, difficulty with moving their lips, tongue or jaw and with coordinating breathing / speaking.
    • Voice: A person may experience vocal changes including monopitch and monoloudness. Voice may become weak, hoarse or strained.
    • Severe naming and language comprehension problems in later stages of the disease.
    • Serious memory problems, problems in abstract reasoning and problem solving in later stages of the disease.
  • An individual may have difficulties with eating and drinking. This is known as Dysphagia.
    • Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that can be caused by Parkinson’s Disease. Swallowing difficulties may begin during the later stages of the condition. An individual with Dysphagia may suffer from weakness of the oral muscles (lips, tongue, jaw) and experience difficulties with chewing food and / or clearing it out of the mouth. Additionally, people may experience frequent coughing and choking while eating and drinking due to weakness of the throat muscles. This can lead to other serious medical conditions including dehydration, malnutrition and Pneumonia, if untreated.
  • It is essential to consult a Speech, Language and Swallowing Pathologist when experiencing speech, language and swallowing difficulties.
  • At Q Enrichment Center, our Speech, Language and Swallowing Pathologist will conduct an extensive comprehensive assessment to determine the type of difficulty, the severity, as well as the diagnosis. A detailed report will be completed along with a treatment plan specific to each individual’s needs.