No AccessAmerican Journal of Speech-Language PathologyResearch Article18 Jun 2021

A Preliminary Look Into the Clinical Evolution of Motor Speech Characteristics in Primary Progressive Apraxia of Speech in Québec French

    Purpose

    This study aimed to track changes in acoustical and perceptual features of motor speech in patients with phonetic and prosodic primary progressive apraxia of speech (PPAOS) in Québec French over an 18-month period.

    Method

    A prospective multiple-case series with multiple testing periods, including four participants with a diagnosis of PPAOS, was conducted. Participants were 0.5–4 years postonset of disease at baseline. They underwent comprehensive motor speech and language assessments and cognitive screening every 6 months for up to 18 months. Acoustical and perceptual analyses of motor speech were conducted.

    Results

    Results showed a considerable impairment in motor speech abilities for patients with PPAOS at all time points and a significant decrease in performance for almost all articulatory and prosodic measures over time. Passage reading and diadochokinesis seemed particularly promising for the tracking of changes in PPAOS motor speech characteristics and PPAOS classification. Quantifying length of speech runs made it possible to distinguish phonetic from prosodic PPAOS. Finally, the patients who evolved to phonetic PPAOS developed aphasia, and the two with prosodic PPAOS showed greater motor symptoms such as unequivocal dysarthria.

    Conclusion

    This study extends the growing literature on PPAOS and its subtypes by describing specific changes in articulatory and prosodic abilities over a period of at least 6 months, which are important for the diagnosis and management of PPAOS.

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