Dysarthria means slurred speech. A pathology that causes difficulty moving the muscles in your mouth and face that control speech often cause dysarthria. Brain damage due to a stroke is the leading cause of dysarthria.
Causes of dysarthria originating in the brain are as follows:
- Brain tumors
- Head injury
- Huntington’s disease (a progressive brain disorder caused by a defective gene)
- Multiple sclerosis (a chronic condition that attacks the central nervous system)
- Parkinson’s disease (a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement)
- Cerebral palsy (a congenital disorder of mobility, muscle tone, or posture)
Neuromuscular diseases also can cause central dysarthria:
- Muscular dystrophy (a group of genetic diseases that damage and weaken your muscles over time)
- Myasthenia gravis (weakness and rapid fatigue of the muscles under voluntary control)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (progressive degeneration of the neuromuscular cells)
- Guillain-Barre syndrome (an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks your nerves)
- Side effects of certain medications such as sedatives and anti-seizure drugs
Peripheral dysarthria develops from damage to the speech organs that alter a person’s sound. Causes include:
- Congenital structural problems
- Trauma to the face or mouth
- Surgery to the head, neck, tongue, or voice box
Other causes include:
What are the symptoms of dysarthria?
The symptoms of dysarthria may vary, depending on the underlying medical condition and type of dysarthria. Symptoms include:
What is the treatment for dysarthria?
The treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. The speech and language pathologists may work on
- Improving your speech.
- Strengthening your mouth muscles.
- Using more breath to speak louder.
- Moving your lips and tongue more.
- Using alternative methods of communication such as gestures, writing, or using computers.
- Saying sounds clearly in words and sentences.
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