Timing of speech deterioration in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Knowledge of the pattern and timing of speech deterioration is important to people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (PALS), their families, and the professionals who serve them. This knowledge is often used to inform decisions about employment, family roles, participation in the community, and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology purchase. The purpose of this study was to investigate the timing of speech deterioration experienced by 101 PALS related to three different factors: (a) time since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis, (b) ALS type, and (c) speaking rate. The results of this study provide documentation to support the recommendation of Yorkston, Strand, Miller, Hillel, & Smith (1993) that speaking rate may be an important predictor of subsequent speech performance for PALS with bulbar, spinal, and mixed ALS. In addition, it documents that the relationship between speech intelligibility and time since diagnosis is quite variable across all PALS and even for PALS of a specific ALS type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-235
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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