Speech and communication disorders in adults

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Project group leader

Ellika Schalling

Speech and/or voice may be affected in individuals with chronic neurological disease or injury. This is for example common in individuals affected by Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, hereditary cerebellar ataxias or cervical spinal cord injury. We study symptoms and prevalence of speech and voice disorders in neurological disease/injury in different projects. In one project gender differences in different ages in young women and men who stutter is also studied. The group is also devoted to development and improvement of assessment methods related to speech and voice function including the impact of changes of communication on communicative participation. We also work with development and assessment of effects of different speech and language pathology interventions for individuals with chronic neurologic diseases or injuries.

Project group members

Namn Titel Funktion
Ellika Schalling Associate prof, SLP Project group leader
Maria Södersten Associate prof, SLP Co-supervisor
Per Östberg Associate prof, SLP Co-supervisor
Kerstin Johansson PhD, SLP Researcher
Joakim Körner Gustafsson SLP Doctoral student
Helena Hybbinette SLP Doctoral student
Ineke Samson Adjunct lecturer, SLP Doctoral student
Marika Schütz SLP Master student
Ann-Christine Näsström SLP Master student
In collaboration with    
At the Dep. of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University::
Lena Hartelius Professor, SLP Researcher
At Speech Music Hearing, The Royal Institute of Technology:
Sten Ternström Professor, engineer Supervisor
At the Division of SLP, Åbo akademi:
Elisabeth Lindström Associate prof,
At the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet/Psychology:
Agneta Herlitz Professor Supervisor
At the Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyds Sjukhus, Karolinska Institutet:
Påvel Lindberg

Catharina Nygren Deboussard
Associate prof,


At the Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet:
Erika Franzén Associate prof,

Research projects

  • Assessment of speech and voice and communicative participation in chronic neurologic disease/injury (Ellika Schalling, Kerstin Johansson, Lena Hartelius)
  • Voice disorders and treatment effects in Parkinson's disease studied with a portable voice accumulator (Joakim Körner Gustafsson,  Maria Södersten, Sten Ternström, Ellika Schalling)
  • Speech breathing control and voice function following low cervical spinal cord injury: implications for treatment and effects of respiratory and speech interventions (Kerstin Johansson)
  • Acquired apraxia of speech - prevalence, differential diagnosis, progression and relation to hand motor function and brain function following stroke (Helena Hybbinette, Per Östberg, Påvel Lindberg, Catharina Nygren.Deboussard, Ellika Schalling)
  • Stuttering in young men and women (Ineke Samson, Elisabeth Lindström, Ellika Schalling)
  • Intensive rehabilitation of dysarthria and aphasia (Marika Schütz, Per Östberg, Ellika Schalling)

Selected publications

  • Wannberg P, Schalling E, Hartelius L. (2015) Perceptual assessment of dysarthria: Comparison of a general and a detailed assessment protocol. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 7, 1-9
  • Gustafsson J, Ternström S, Södersten M, Schalling E. (2015) Motor-Learning-Based adjustment of ambulatory feedback on vocal loudness for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Voice, 10. pii: S0892-1997(15)00120-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.06.003. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Van Stan J, Gustafsson J, Schalling E, Hillman R. (2014) Direct comparison of three commercially available devices for voice ambulatory monitoring and biofeedback. Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, 24, 80-86
  • Schalling E, Hartelius L. (2013) Speech in spinocerebellär ataxia. Brain & Language, 127(3),
  • Schalling E, Gustafsson J, Ternström S, Bulukin Wilén F, Södersten M. (2013) Effects of tactile biofeedback by a portable voice accumulator on voice sound level in speakers with Parkinson’s disease, Journal of Voice, 27(6), 729-37
  • Johansson K, Hartelius L, Kjellmer L, Fredriksson S, Schalling E. (2013) "I can walk briskly and talk at the same time’ – effects of Expiratory Muscle Strength Training (EMST) on respiration and speech in multiple sclerosis” Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 20(4), 70-76
  • Johansson K, Nygren-Bonnier M, Schalling E. (2012) Effects of glossopharyngeal breathing in multiple sclerosis, a case-report. Multiple Sclerosis, 18(6), 905-8
  • Johansson K, Nygren-Bonnier M, Klefbeck B, Schalling E. (2011) Effects of Glossopharyngeal Breathing on Voice and Speech in Individuals with Cervical Spinal Cord Injury. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation vol 18, no 9, 1-11
  • Hartelius, L., Schalling, E., Krull, D. & Lindblom, B. (2010). Formant transitions in ataxic speech: the shape and speed of formant trajectories in individuals with multiple sclerosis and control speakers. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology 18(4), 54-60
Speech-Language Pathology