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Dysarthria is a speech disorder resulting from neurological injury. Any of the speech subsystems (respiration, phonation, resonance, prosody, articulation and movements of jaw and tongue) can be affected.
The speech is due to some disorder in the nervous system, which in turn hinders control over for example tongue, throat, lips or lungs. Swallowing problems, dysphagia, are often present.
Dysarthrias are classified in multiple ways based on the presentation of symptoms. Specific dysarthrias include Spastic, Flaccid, Hyperkinetic, Hypokinetic, Ataxic, Unilateral Upper Motor Neuron, and Mixed Dysarthria.
The reasons behind dysarthria can be many; among the diseases are ALS, Parkinson's disease, chorea, prion protein related diseases, and cerebral palsy. Dysarthria can also be an early symptom of stroke. More common causes are intoxication and anesthesia, although these are transient.
The articulation problems that dysarthria causes can be treated together with a speech therapist by strengthening the speech musculature. Devices that make coping with dysarthria easier include speech synthesis software and text-based telephones.
References & Bibliography
- Haines, Duane. Neuroanatomy: an atlas of structures, sections, and systems. 6th edition.
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