Speech, voice, and language outcomes following deep brain stimulation: A systematic review

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Background Deep brain stimulation (DBS) reliably ameliorates cardinal motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and essential tremor (ET). However, the effects of DBS on speech, voice and language have been inconsistent and have not been examined comprehensively in a single study. Objective We conducted a systematic analysis of literature by reviewing studies that examined the effects of DBS on speech, voice and language in PD and ET. Methods A total of 675 publications were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, CINHAL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and Scopus databases. Based on our selection criteria, 90 papers were included in our analysis. The selected publications were categorized into four subcategories: Fluency, Word production, Articulation and phonology and Voice quality. Results The results suggested a long-term decline in verbal fluency, with more studies reporting deficits in phonemic fluency than semantic fluency following DBS. Additionally, high frequency stimulation, left-sided and bilateral DBS were associated with worse verbal fluency outcomes. Naming improved in the short-term following DBS-ON compared to DBS-OFF, with no long-term differences between the two conditions. Bilateral and low-frequency DBS demonstrated a relative improvement for phonation and articulation. Nonetheless, long-term DBS exacerbated phonation and articulation deficits. The effect of DBS on voice was highly variable, with both improvements and deterioration in different measures of voice. Conclusion This was the first study that aimed to combine the outcome of speech, voice, and language following DBS in a single systematic review. The findings revealed a heterogeneous pattern of results for speech, voice, and language across DBS studies, and provided directions for future studies.

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5 May

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