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Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a neurogenic motor speech disorder resulting from muscular weakness of the tongue, lips, soft palate, larynx or respiratory muscles . Individuals with dysarthria may exhibit abnormalities in strength, speed, range, tone and accuracy of muscular movements. Dysarthria may affect speech production, voice, respiration and prosody (melody of speech). There are different types of dysarthria. Dysarthria may co-exist with other disorders like apraxia of speech or aphasia (acquired language disorder).



Characteristics of dysarthira:

- Spasticity or rigidity of facial muscles or
- Weakness/flaccidity of facial muscles
- Facial droop
- Drooling
- Poor muscular coordination
- Slurred speech
- Imprecise speech
- Hyper- or hypo-nasality
- Breathiness
- Monotone
- Decreased or increased rate of speech
- Harsh or strained voice
- Reduced loudness

Causes of dysarthria:

- Stroke
- Head trauma or tumor
- Infections ( e.g., herpes)
- Degenerative diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s ALS, Huntington’s disease)
- Toxic-metabolic diseases
- Certain drugs

Useful resources:

- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- National Stroke Association
- American Stroke Association