Sequelae of sarin toxicity at one and three years after exposure in Matsumoto, Japan.
In order to clarify the later sequelae of sarin poisoning that occurred in Matsumoto City, Japan, on June 27, 1994, a cohort study was conducted on all persons (2052 Japanese people) inhabiting an area 1050 meters from north to south and 850 meters from east to west with the sarin release site in the center. Respondents numbered 1237 and 836 people when surveys were conducted at one and three years after the sarin incident, respectively. Numbers of persons with symptoms of sarin toxicity were compared between sarin victims and non-victims. Of the respondents, 58 and 46 people had symptoms associated with sarin such as fatigue, asthenia, shoulder stiffness, asthenopia and blurred vision at both points of the survey, respectively. The prevalences were low; some complained of insomnia, had bad dreams, difficulty in smoking, husky voice, slight fever and palpitation. The victims who had symptoms one year after the incident had a lower erythrocyte cholinesterase activity than did those who did not have symptoms at the early stage; such persons lived in an area with a 500 meter long axis north east from the sarin release site. The three-year cohort study clearly showed that the odds ratios of almost all of the symptoms were high in the sarin-exposed group, suggesting a positive relationship between symptoms and grades of exposure to sarin. These results suggest that symptoms reported by many victims of the sarin incident are thought to be sequelae related to sarin exposure. (+info)
Intensive voice treatment (LSVT) for patients with Parkinson's disease: a 2 year follow up.
OBJECTIVES: To assess long term (24 months) effects of the Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT), a method designed to improve vocal function in patients with Parkinson's disease. METHODS: Thirty three patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were stratified and randomly assigned to two treatment groups. One group received the LSVT, which emphasises high phonatory-respiratory effort. The other group received respiratory therapy (RET), which emphasises high respiratory effort alone. Patients in both treatment groups sustained vowel phonation, read a passage, and produced a monologue under identical conditions before, immediately after, and 24 months after speech treatment. Change in vocal function was measured by means of acoustic analyses of voice loudness (measured as sound pressure level, or SPL) and inflection in voice fundamental frequency (measured in terms of semitone standard deviation, or STSD). RESULTS: The LSVT was significantly more effective than the RET in improving (increasing) SPL and STSD immediately post-treatment and maintaining those improvements at 2 year follow up. CONCLUSIONS: The findings provide evidence for the efficacy of the LSVT as well as the long term maintenance of these effects in the treatment of voice and speech disorders in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. (+info)
Is voice therapy an effective treatment for dysphonia? A randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the overall efficacy of voice therapy for dysphonia. DESIGN: Single blind randomised controlled trial. SETTING: Outpatient clinic in a teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 204 outpatients aged 17-87 with a primary symptom of persistent hoarseness for at least two months. INTERVENTIONS: After baseline assessments, patients were randomised to six weeks of either voice therapy or no treatment. Assessments were repeated at six weeks on the 145 (71%) patients who continued to this stage and at 12-14 weeks on the 133 (65%) patients who completed the study. The assessments at the three time points for the 70 patients who completed treatment and the 63 patients in the group given no treatment were compared. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Ratings of laryngeal features, Buffalo voice profile, amplitude and pitch perturbation, voice profile questionnaire, hospital anxiety and depression scale, clinical interview schedule, SF-36. RESULTS: Voice therapy improved voice quality as assessed by rating by patients (P=0.001) and rating by observer (P<0.001). The treatment effects for these two outcomes were 4.1 (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 6.6) points and 0.82 (0.50 to 1.13) points. Amplitude perturbation showed improvement at six weeks (P=0.005) but not on completion of the study. Patients with dysphonia had appreciable psychological distress and lower quality of life than controls, but voice therapy had no significant impact on either of these variables. CONCLUSION: Voice therapy is effective in improving voice quality as assessed by self rated and observer rated methods. (+info)
Swallowing and voice effects of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT): a pilot study.
OBJECTIVE: To define the effects of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT on swallowing and voice in eight patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. METHODS: Each patient received a modified barium swallow (MBS) in addition to voice recording before and after 1 month of LSVT. Swallowing motility disorders were defined and temporal measures of the swallow were completed from the MBS. Voice evaluation included measures of vocal intensity, fundamental frequency, and the patient's perception of speech change. RESULTS: before LSVT, the most prevalent swallowing motility disorders were oral phase problems including reduced tongue control and strength. Reduced tongue base retraction resulting in residue in the vallecula was the most common disorder in the pharyngeal stage of the swallow. Oral transit time (OTT) and pharyngeal transit time (PTT) were prolonged. After LSVT, there was an overall 51% reduction in the number of swallowing motility disorders. Some temporal measures of swallowing were also significantly reduced as was the approximate amount of oral residue after 3 ml and 5 ml liquid swallows. Voice changes after LSVT included a significant increase in vocal intensity during sustained vowel phonation as well as during reading. CONCLUSIONS: LSVT seemingly improved neuromuscular control of the entire upper aerodigestive tract, improving oral tongue and tongue base function during the oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing as well as improving vocal intensity. (+info)
Occupational voice disorders due to workplace exposure to irritants--a review of the literature.
The medical literature contains relatively few examples of reports of voice disorders that could be attributed to chemical exposure at work. General medical conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux and the use of medication such as inhaled steroids are well-recognized causes of laryngitis, but the occupational causes are less well documented. This paper describes the results of a literature review looking at the reporting of cases of occupationally acquired voice disorders due to exposure to irritants in the workplace. (+info)
Assessment of voice quality after carotid endarterectomy.
OBJECTIVES: vocal cord paralysis is considered a rare complication of carotid endarterectomy (CEA), but alteration in voice quality may be more common. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the effect of CEA on voice quality and to correlate any changes with the extent of the dissection. DESIGN-MATERIAL-METHODS: thirty-five patients who underwent CEA were divided in two groups, according to the level of surgical dissection performed. The high-level dissection group was comprised of those patients that required mobilisation of hypoglossal nerve and division of the posterior belly of digastric muscle. The low-level dissection group included the rest. All the patients' voices were recorded and analysed digitally before CEA, one and three months after the operation. Voice data were measured for standard deviation of fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer and normalised noise energy (NNE). All patients underwent a laryngeal examination pre- and post-operation. RESULTS: none of the patients had any vocal cord dysfunction on laryngoscopy. Significant changes of voice quality (jitter, shimmer, NNE) were noticed in the high-level dissection group (p<0.05) one month after the operation. Two months later, the voice changes had subsided, but still significant disturbances remained (jitter, shimmer). CONCLUSIONS: voice-related disturbances are far more common following CEA than is generally believed and, although they seem to for the most part temporary, they deserve attention. Specifically, high-level surgical dissection seems to be a risk factor of postoperative vocal impairment. (+info)
Prospective functional voice assessment in patients undergoing thyroid surgery.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze voice function before and after thyroidectomy for patients with normal preoperative voice using a standardized multidimensional voice assessment protocol. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: The natural history of post-thyroidectomy voice disturbances for patients with preserved laryngeal nerve function has not been systematically studied and characterized with the intent of using the data for postoperative voice rehabilitation. METHODS: During a prospective single-arm study, patients with normal voice underwent functional voice testing using a standardized voice grading scale and a battery of acoustic, aerodynamic, glottographic, and videostroboscopic tests before, 1 week after, and 3 months after thyroidectomy. Differences in observed sample means were evaluated using analysis of covariance or t test; categorical data was analyzed using the Fisher exact or chi-square test. RESULTS: Fifty-four patients were enrolled; 50 and 46 were evaluable at 1 week and 3 months, respectively. No patient developed recurrent laryngeal nerve injury; one had superior laryngeal nerve injury. Fifteen (30%) patients reported early subjective voice change and seven (14%) reported late (3-month) subjective voice change. Forty-two (84%) patients had significant objective change in at least one voice parameter. Six (12%) had significant alterations in more than three voice measures, of which four (67%) were symptomatic, whereas 25% with three or fewer objective changes had symptoms. Patients with persistent voice change at 3 months had an increased likelihood of multiple (more than three) early objective changes (43% vs. 7%). Early maximum phonational frequency range and vocal jitter changes from baseline were significantly associated with voice symptoms at 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: Early vocal symptoms are common following thyroidectomy and persist in 14% of patients. Multiple (more than three) objective voice changes correlate with early and late postoperative symptoms. Alterations in maximum phonational frequency range and vocal jitter predict late perceived vocal changes. Factors other than laryngeal nerve injury appear to alter post-thyroidectomy voice. The variability of patient symptoms underscores the importance of understanding the physiology of dysphonia. (+info)
Quantitative analysis of professionally trained versus untrained voices.
The aim of this study was to compare healthy trained and untrained voices as well as healthy and dysphonic trained voices in adults using combined voice range profile and aerodynamic tests, to define the normal range limiting values of quantitative voice parameters and to select the most informative quantitative voice parameters for separation between healthy and dysphonic trained voices. Three groups of persons were evaluated. One hundred eighty six healthy volunteers were divided into two groups according to voice training: non-professional speakers group consisted of 106 untrained voices persons (36 males and 70 females) and professional speakers group--of 80 trained voices persons (21 males and 59 females). Clinical group consisted of 103 dysphonic professional speakers (23 males and 80 females) with various voice disorders. Eighteen quantitative voice parameters from combined voice range profile (VRP) test were analyzed: 8 of voice range profile, 8 of speaking voice, overall vocal dysfunction degree and coefficient of sound, and aerodynamic maximum phonation time. Analysis showed that healthy professional speakers demonstrated expanded vocal abilities in comparison to healthy non-professional speakers. Quantitative voice range profile parameters- pitch range, high frequency limit, area of high frequencies and coefficient of sound differed significantly between healthy professional and non-professional voices, and were more informative than speaking voice or aerodynamic parameters in showing the voice training. Logistic stepwise regression revealed that VRP area in high frequencies was sufficient to discriminate between healthy and dysphonic professional speakers for male subjects (overall discrimination accuracy--81.8%) and combination of three quantitative parameters (VRP high frequency limit, maximum voice intensity and slope of speaking curve) for female subjects (overall model discrimination accuracy--75.4%). We concluded that quantitative voice assessment with selected parameters might be useful for evaluation of voice education for healthy professional speakers as well as for detection of vocal dysfunction and evaluation of rehabilitation effect in dysphonic professionals. (+info)