Parkinson’s voice initiative:
Recently there has been news stories on at least Fox and NPR about the Parkinson’s Voice Initiative (http://www.parkinsonsvoice.org/index.php). They are asking for 10,000 people to call in for 3 minutes to analyze their voice to develop a data base that will diagnose whether or not one has Parkinson’s disease. They have found that defects in the voice are very accurate at determining whether or not you have Parkinson’s disease. The phone number if you would be interested in making the call is 857-284-8035 for the U.S. Please see their website for other countries.
I think that this finding in the Parkinson’s voice initative is further evidence that there is a jaw misalignment component to Parkinson’s disease. The consensus of clinical experience indicates that bite dysfunction is at the foundation of many forms of movement disorders, and speech abnormalities would be expected.
Case history: I recently saw a 20 year old male with speech apraxia (wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apraxia), tremors, and poor balance. Not only was his speech compromised, but also was his gross motor movements (both noticeably jerky). His symptoms had increased at age 14 when he had head trauma at the same time he was under going orthodontic treatment with extractions. His orthodontic treatment has left him with a major jaw misalignment. I expect that jaw reposition therapy will resolve many of his issues, particularly his fine motor control and speech apraxia.
The following abstract points out that apraxia is due to defects in sensory integration, known to be from the reticular formation, not the cerebrum as is thought in apraxia. It is the reticular formation where tremors are generated and where bite dysfunction manifests its pathology . And it will be defects in the reticular formation that accounts for the defects found in the voice analysis of the Parkinson’s voice initiative.
The apraxias are higher-order defects of sensorimotor integration.
University Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK.
The classical features of motor disorders due to neurological disease affecting the pyramidal pathways, cerebellum and basal ganglia in humans are well known. What is less understood is the clinical world of apraxia–‘inability to perform purposeful skilled movements in the absence of any elementary motor (weakness, akinesia, abnormal posture or tone) or sensory deficits, or impaired comprehension or memory’. Much of what clinicians call apraxia is a failure of gesture production to command, due to problems of transcoding language into motor action, without motor deficit in ordinary life. However, damage to premotor regions and superior parietal lobules provokes devastating spontaneous higher-order motor deficits, including limb-kinetic apraxia, diagnostic apraxia, visuomotor apraxia and ideational apraxia.