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Dysarthria refers to speech problems that are caused by the muscles involved with speaking or the nerves controlling them. Both muscle weakness and incoordination can give rise to dysarthria. Speech problems that result from cognitive dysfunction are not dysarthria.

Dysarthria is a feature of many neurological diseases including cerebral palsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinsonís disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis.

Dysarthria is a relatively common symptom of multiple sclerosis and can take many forms. Episodic paroxysmal dysarthria, which is where the dysarthria lasts for up to a minute or so and recurs several times a day, is particulary common in MS.

Dysarthria can be caused by dysfunction in the nervous pathways affecting any of the muscles of the tongue and mouth, the voice box and the respiratory system. In multiple sclerosis it is often caused by lesions in the cerebellum, the brainstem or connecting pathways.

There are four main types of dysarthria:

There are no drug treatments for dysarthria but speech therapy can be of great benefit.

A number of strategies can be used to deal with the effects of dysarthria including:

Dysarthria links:
Language Pathologies
Saskatchewan Health - Dysarthria

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