Thesis defense Simone Knuijt (Donders series 321)
3 July 2018
Promotors: prof. dr. A. Geurts, prof. dr. B. van Engelen
Copromotors: dr. B. de Swart, dr. J.G. Kalf
Prevalence of dysarthria and dysphagia in neuromuscular diseases and an assessment tool for dyarthria in adults
Speech is unique for humans and, despite the rise of social media, daily communi-cation is highly dependent on spoken lan-guage. When a neurological disease affects speech, this is called dysarthria. Dysarthria can be caused by (sub-)acute central neu-rological, central neurodegenerative or pe-ripheral neuromuscular diseases (NMD). The first part of this thesis focuses on the prevalence rates and the evidence for treatment of dysarthria and dysphagia in patients with NMD. Dysphagia is added, because dysarthria often co-occurs with dysphagia, as both disorders are caused by oromotor problems within overlapping muscle groups. The second part of this thesis focuses on the development of the Radboud Dysarthria Assessment (RDA). This thesis aims to 1) examine prevalence rates of dysarthria and dysphagia in NMD, 2) summarize the evidence for treatment of dysarthria and dysphagia in NMD, and 3) develop and evaluate a dysarthria assess-ment at the level of speech function.
In chapter 1, a general introduction to dysarthria and dysphagia is provided by presenting an overview of neurological diseases that can cause dysarthria and/or dysphagia. In addition, a theoretical ap-proach to the different types of dysarthria is presented. Finally, aims and outline of this thesis are described.