Thursday, July 16, 2015

SpeechEasyPD to Provide Helpful Devices for Parkinson’s Patients with Speech Issues

Janus Development Group, the maker of SpeechEasyPD, introduced the product in 2014. SpeechEasyPD is an in-the-ear device whic
h looks like a hearing aid and helps promote fluency in those Parkinson's patients with speech difficulties.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurological and progressive disease which affects both men and women, but more typically men. Among the many symptoms of Parkinson's disease, patients can experience decreased speech volume, repetitive speech and an overall decrease in speech intelligibility. Any and all of these factors can create communication issues for the patient

Studies have shown that the use of an auditory delay and/or a change in pitch can help increase the speech intelligibility of speech in those with Parkinson's disease. SpeechEasyPD uses both of these components in a small, discreet device worn in one ear of the client. The auditory delay and/or change in pitch recreates what is known as the 'choral effect', in which a person's repetitive speech is dramatically reduced or even eliminated when they speak or sing in unison with others. The choral effect has been well-documented for decades as a treatment for stuttering, and more recently used as a treatment for those with speech issues related to Parkinson's disease. Clinical use of SpeechEasyPD has also shown that the utilization of the delay may naturally slow the patient's speech rate. Often times with Parkinson's disease, people will exhibit a very fast rate of speech which, in turn, negatively impacts their intelligibility.

According to a small study conducted at Rush University in Chicago in which Parkinson's patients were fit with a SpeechEasyPD device, participants experienced an increase in their speech intelligibility and a decrease in their repetitive speech, or palilalia, they exhibited. A second study with a larger number of participants is now underway.

SpeechEasyPD was developed by a team of communication disorder researchers at East Carolina University, and is marketed exclusively by Janus Development Group. SpeechEasyPD devices are available via a nationwide network of state licensed, ASHA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association)-certified speech language pathologists. More information about SpeechEasyPD is available at Janus Development Group is a privately-held S-Corp, and has been developing, marketing and selling in-ear auditory feedback devices since 2001.

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