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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 947-948  

Speech disorders in fahr's disease: Hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, and mixed

Department of Medicine, Federal University of Santa Maria, Santa Maria, Brazil

Date of Submission11-Jan-2022
Date of Decision22-Apr-2022
Date of Acceptance22-Apr-2022
Date of Web Publication01-Jun-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jamir P Rissardo
Av. Roraima, 1000 - Camobi, Santa Maria, RS 97105-900
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_30_22

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How to cite this article:
Rissardo JP, Caprara AL. Speech disorders in fahr's disease: Hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, and mixed. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:947-8

How to cite this URL:
Rissardo JP, Caprara AL. Speech disorders in fahr's disease: Hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, and mixed. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 30];15:947-8. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/6/947/346449

Dear Editor,

We read the article entitled “A Rare Case of Fahr's Syndrome with Bilateral Vocal Cord Palsy” in the esteemed “Medical Journal of Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth” with great interest. Goutham et al.[1] reported a middle-aged female presenting with biphasic stridor. Video laryngoscopy showed both vocal cords in the paramedian position. A cranial computed tomography scan showed calcifications at the basal ganglia, dentate nucleus, and semioval centrum.

Herein, we would like to discuss speech abnormalities in Fahr's Disease (FD). Speech disorders are reported as a common symptom of bilateral striopallidodentate calcinosis. Also, it is noteworthy that slurred speech is considered a core clinical feature suggesting further investigation with neuroimaging. However, speech impairment is probably the most poorly described clinical manifestation of FD in the literature.[2]

A literature search was performed in Medline using a set of terms that included “Fahr's Disease,” “speech,” and “voice without language restriction” [Supplementary Material – Other 1]. We found the following clinical descriptions for speech abnormalities: “slurred speech,” “speech disorder,” “speech difficulty,” “speech abnormalities,” “progressively slurred speech,” “slurring of speech,” “a deterioration of speech,” “occasional stuttering in her speech and slight hypophonia,” “occasional stuttering of speech in crowds,” “speech disturbance,” “mild dysarthric speech,” “speech impairment,” “speech problems,” and “speech deficit.”

We hypothesized three clinical speech disorders descriptions based on the basal ganglia physiological mechanism of language processing and motor function [Figure 1].[3] The speech abnormalities could be categorized into hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, and mixed (combined) disorders. The division is characterized by the main movement disorder found in the patient affected by FD such as parkinsonism, dystonia, and ataxia. A hypokinetic speech disorder is defined by monopitch, monoloudness, reduced loudness, and rapid rate characteristics. It is commonly encountered in individuals presenting with parkinsonism. On the other hand, hyperkinetic speech disorders present with inappropriate silences, voice stoppages, prolonged phonemes, and variable rates. Moreover, some individuals could have mixed features of hypokinetic and hyperkinetic speech disorders. These subjects may be classified as having a combined speech disorder.
Figure 1: Speech Disorders in Fahr's Disease, also known as primary familial brain calcification and familial idiopathic basal ganglia calcification. Speech disorders can be classified into three categories: hypokinetic, hyperkinetic, and mixed (combined) disorders. The division is characterized by the main movement disorder found in the patient affected by FD

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Santos et al.[4] reported an elderly female with FD assessing stomatognathic and vocal changes. They observed mixed-(oral and nasal) breathing, pneumo-phono-articulatory incoordination, predominantly nasal resonance, reduction of maximum phonation time, monotonous voice quality with hoarse and trembling, nasality due to low mobility of the soft palate, slowness of speech, and the presence of tremors. Therefore, Santos et al.[4] probably reported a patient with a hypokinetic speech disorder.

In 2020, Anil et al.[5] described FD in a female child presenting with slow and sluggish oro-motor movements. She also had deficits in oro-motor functions with articulatory errors and reduced intelligibility of speech. Language assessment revealed reduced vocabulary and delay in expressive language. Thus, Anil et al.[5] depicted a hyperkinetic movement disorder. It is noteworthy that the patient's age could have contributed to the diagnosis of the speech disorder.

The clinical distinction of speech abnormalities can help to provide a more detailed description and contribute to a better understanding of the cases. Also, it can promote further studies to investigate possible speech therapies such as Lee Silverman voice treatment.[2]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Goutham MK, Varghese S, Bhat VS, Aroor R, Kumar Bhandary BS. A rare case of Fahr's syndrome with bilateral vocal cord palsy. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15:97-100.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Aydinli FE, Dumbak AB. The effects of Lee-Silverman voice treatment on voice and swallowing functions in a case with bilateral striopallidodentate calcinosis. Neurol India 2019;67:1522-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Rusz J, Tykalova T, Ramig LO, Tripoliti E. Guidelines for speech recording and acoustic analyses in dysarthrias of movement disorders. Mov Disord 2021;36:803-14.  Back to cited text no. 3
Santos KW, Fraga BF, Cardoso MC. Dysfunctions of the stomatognathic system and vocal aspects in Fahr disease: Case report. Codas 2014;26:164-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Anil MA, Rebello RM, Bhat JS. Speech-language profile of a child with Fahr's disease: Case report of a rare neurodegenerative disorder. J Nat Sc Biol Med 2020;11:206-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
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