Alternate Names : Impairment of speech, Slurred speech, Speech disorders – dysarthria
Dysarthria is a condition that occurs when problems with the muscles that help you talk make it difficult to pronounce words.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
In a person with dysarthria, a nerve, brain, or muscle disorder makes it difficult to use or control the muscles of the mouth, tongue, larynx, or vocal cords, which make speech.
The muscles may be weak or completely paralyzed, or it may be difficult for the muscles to work together.
Dysarthria may be the result of brain damage due to:
- Brain tumor
- Traumatic brain injury
Dysarthria may result from damage to the nerves that supply the muscles that help you talk, or to the muscles themselves from:
- Face or neck trauma
- Surgery for head and neck cancer, such as partial or total removal of the tongue or voice box
Dysarthria may be caused by diseases that affect nerves and muscles (neuromuscular diseases):
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Parkinson’s disease
Other causes may include:
- Alcohol intoxication
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Side effects of medications that act on the central nervous system, such as narcotics, phenytoin, or carbamazepine
Dysarthria : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Dysarthria : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Dysarthria : Treatment
Review Date : 7/10/2009
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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