Filed under: Dysarthria - 02 Jul 2013 | Share on :
Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder that commonly is caused by a neurological injury. Patients suffering from dysarthria have problems in controlling or coordinating the muscles used for speaking. Consequently, they will experience slurred or slow speech, which can be extremely hard to understand.
One of the most important things you should understand about dysarthria is that symptoms can vary a lot from one patient to another, mostly depending on the cause of the disease. However, some of the most common signs and symptoms of dysarthria include:
- Slurred speech;
- Nasal, raspy or strained voice;
- Abnormal rhythm of speech;
- Abnormal volume of speech, usually uneven;
- Inability to speak louder than a whisper;
- Slow rate of speech;
- Rapid rate of speech, commonly hard to understand;
- Monotone speech;
- Difficulty moving the tongue or the facial muscles.
Seeing a doctor is a must as soon as you experience any type of changes in your ability to speak clearly. In many cases, dysarthria is a sign of a serious condition which requires immediate treatment.
There are many causes which can lead to the development of this disease. They include all types of disorders to the nervous system, such as stroke, brain injury, brain tumors or paralysis linked disorders. Dysarthria can be caused by certain medications, too.
Some of the most common diseases that can be associated to dysarthria include:
- Brain injury;
- Lyme disease;
- Brain tumor;
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
- Head injury;
- Cerebral palsy;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Wilson’s disease;
- Muscular dystrophy;
- Parkinson’s disease.
There are various tests that can be recommended by specialists with the purpose to diagnose dysarthria. Your doctor may order imaging tests, brain and nerve studies, blood and urine tests, lumbar puncture tests, a brain biopsy, as well as several neuropsychological tests.
In the lack of an adequate treatment, dysarthria can lead to social isolation and depression. Severe communication problems can be experienced by patients. The right treatment will improve the patient’s speech.
Treatment will be highly dependent on the cause of this disease, as well as the severity of symptoms experienced by patients. Specialists will recommend therapies for the underlying cause of dysarthria, but also speech and language therapies. In time, patients will regain normal speech, improving communication.
Dysarthria is a serious condition that can be diagnosed in people of all ages. This disease should be treated as soon as formed, to improve lifestyle and the general state of the patient.