A protocol for identification of early bulbar signs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Laura J. Ball, Amy Willis, David R. Beukelman, Gary L. Pattee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


The purpose of this project is to identify characteristics that may be of assistance in establishing the diagnosis and monitoring early progression of bulbar dysfunction in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Early identification of bulbar dysfunction would assist in clinical trials and management decisions. A database of 218 clinic visits of patients with ALS was developed and formed the basis for these analyses. As a framework for the description of our methodology, the Disablement Model [World Health Organization. WHO International classification of impairment, activity, and participation: beginner's guide. In: WHO, editor. Beta-1 draft for field trials; 1999] was utilized. Our data identified that the strongest early predictors of bulbar speech dysfunction include altered voice quality (laryngeal control), speaking rate, and communication effectiveness. A protocol for measuring these speech parameters was therefore undertaken. This paper presents the protocol used to measure these bulbar parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the neurological sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2001


  • AAC
  • Diagnostic classification
  • Dysarthria
  • Motor speech disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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