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Definition of Dysarthria

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Dysarthria: Speech that is characteristically slurred, slow, and difficult to understand. A person with dysarthria may also have problems controlling the pitch, loudness, rhythm, and voice qualities of his or her speech. Dysarthria is caused by paralysis, weakness, or inability to coordinate the muscles of the mouth. Dysarthria can occur as a developmental disability. It may be a sign of a neuromuscular disorder such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson's disease. It may also be caused by a stroke, brain injury, or brain tumor. Treatment of dysarthria includes intensive speech therapy with a focus on oral-motor skill development.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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