Dysarthria: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment
The muscles of your lips, tongue, vocal cords and diaphragm all work together to help you to speak clearly. Dysarthria is a condition where these muscles that help for speech are weak or might have difficulty in controlling them. Often dysarthria is characterized by slow speech or slurred that makes difficult others understand.
You might also have trouble in getting messages from your brain to your muscles to make them move, called apraxia. You could also have trouble understanding what others say or telling others about your thoughts, called aphasia.
How To Recognise Dysarthria?
The signs and symptoms of dysarthria vary depending on the type of dysarthria and, on the other underlying causes. Any individual with dysarthria might face the following symptoms which include:
- Speech problems like Slurred speech, Slow speech
- Inability to speak louder than a whisper or speaking too loudly
- Fast speech Which is difficult to understand
- Raspy, Nasal or strained voice
- Abnormal or Uneven speech rhythm
- Difficulty moving your tongue or facial muscles
- Uneven or jerky speech volume
- Monotone speech
Dysarthria condition makes it harder to move your lips, tongue, and jaw, it can also cause difficulty in chewing and swallowing. Trouble swallowing can make you salivate from the mouth.
What Are The Causes Of Dysarthria?
It can be a birth defect or it can happen after an illness or an injury to the brain. Anything that causes brain damage can lead to dysarthria.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Brain injury or brain tumour
- Cerebral palsy
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
- Head injury
- Parkinson’s disease
- Lyme disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Wilson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis
There were many potential causes of dysarthria mentioned above. Some other causes such as narcotics or sedatives, toxic, metabolic and other degenerative diseases.
How Dysarthria Is Diagnosed?
In most of the cases, the speech-language pathologist may evaluate your speech to determine the type of dysarthria you are suffering from. The doctor also goes thorough medical history and also takes a complete physical exam that helps the neurologist to find the underlying cause of dysarthria.
Besides these physical exams, the doctor might also go for some other tests which include:
- Imaging tests
- Brain and nerve studies
- Blood and urine tests
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap)
- Brain biopsy
- Neuropsychological tests
How To Treat Dysarthria?
Dysarthria requires immediate medical attention. Treatment for dysarthria will depend on the cause and severity of the symptoms and the type of dysarthria caused. Reach a doctor right away if you experience any sudden or unexplained changes in ability to speak clearly.
Speech And Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy can help to regain normal speech and improve communication.
The speech therapy goals you have to work to improve the condition are
- Slow down your speech i.e adjusting speech rate
- Use more breath to speak louder
- Make your mouth muscles stronger
- Move your lips and tongue
- Say sounds clearly in words and sentences
- Improving articulation
- Using different ways to communicate, like gestures, writing, or using computers.
- Children and adults having severe speech or language problems can opt Augmentative and alternative communication or AAC
A Speech-language pathologist (SLP) can test your speech and language where an SLP can decide whether you have dysarthria or any other problem. The SLP might also work with your family members and friends to help them learn ways to talk with and understand you. For any other information and to get the best treatment contact our experts at Sunshine Hospitals immediately.
About the Doctor:
Dr. Anitha – Neurologist
After completing her MBBS in 1999 and getting a gold medal from SVS Medical College in Mahboobnagar, Dr Anitha Kotha went on to become the Diplomate in National Board (DNB) General Medicine at the prestigious Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences(NIMS) for 3 years. After that, she did 3 years course of DM Neurology in NIMS and then worked as a Consultant Neurologist in Yashoda hospital -Somajiguda for 3 years. Dr Anitha is one of the most experienced neurologists and is a life member of the prestigious Indian Academy of Neurology and also the Medical Association of India.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.