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Effect of pallidal deep-brain stimulation on articulation rate in dystonia


Pallidal deep-brain stimulation of the internal globus pallidus (GPi-DBS) is an effective treatment for dystonia. However, GPi-DBS may cause important stimulation-induced side effects such as hypokinetic dysarthria, which is particularly manifested by articulation rate abnormalities. However, little data regarding the effect of the location of the electrode and stimulation parameters for pallidal stimulation on articulation rate in dystonia is available. Speech data were acquired from 18 dystonic patients with GPi-DBS and 18 matched healthy controls. Each of dystonic patients was tested twice within 1 day in both the GPi-DBS ON and GPi-DBS OFF stimulation conditions. Compared to healthy controls, the decreased diadochokinetic rate and slower articulation rate in dystonic patients were observed in both stimulation conditions. No significant differences in speech rate measures between stimulation conditions were detected with no relation to contact localization and stimulation intensity. Our findings do not support the use articulation rate as a surrogate marker of stimulation-induced changes to the speech apparatus in dystonia.

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This study was financially supported by the grant project offered by the Czech Science Foundation (grant no. GAČR 16-13323S and GAČR 16-19975S), by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic (grant no. 15-28038A), by the Research Center for Informatics (grant no. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000765), and by the Czech ministry of Education (PROGRES-Q27/LF1). All rights reserved.

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Correspondence to Jan Rusz.

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Each participant provided written, informed consent, and the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the General University Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic.

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Rusz, J., Fečíková, A., Tykalová, T. et al. Effect of pallidal deep-brain stimulation on articulation rate in dystonia. Neurol Sci 40, 869–873 (2019).

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  • Dystonia
  • Deep-brain stimulation
  • Pallidal
  • Dysarthria
  • Speech
  • Acoustic analysis