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Dysarthria: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Dysarthria is a disease that makes it difficult to pronounce words correctly due to a nervous, muscular, or brain disorder that complicates the use and control of the muscles of the mouth that make it possible for a person to speak correctly. It is difficult to pronounce words well because the muscles are extremely weak or completely paralyzed, which makes it impossible for them to work together.

Dysarthria can be caused by many diseases that mainly affect the nerves, the brain, or the muscles. Depending on the cause of the disease, the forces can regain their mobility or worsen until the person loses speech. In this FastlyHealarticle, you will be able to know in-depth what dysarthria consists of causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Types of dysarthria

mild dysarthria

People with mild dysarthria experience intelligible speech and may have problems articulating some sounds, usually those phonemes that require full muscle use and more elaborate coordination. Mild dysarthria can also be noted due to the increased speed of speech, better known as taquilalia, which entails the involuntary omission of some phonemes. Most people with mild dysarthria have compromised soft palate movement.

moderate dysarthria

This type of dysarthria comprises the same disorders as mild dysarthria; only it becomes more difficult to understand what the person is saying because it involves more speech sounds. The articulation of these people is so complex that, in many cases, it is impossible to make sense of what they say.

Severe dysarthria

It is practically impossible to understand what the person is saying. Muscle mobility is so compromised that all processes necessary for speech are affected.

Causes of dysarthria

Brain damage

  • Multiple sclerosis . It is an autoimmune disease that affects the functioning of the brain and spinal cord. It usually affects more women than men. The condition is caused due to damage to the myelin sheath, the layer that protects neurons, and, when affected, causes nerve impulses to decrease or stop.
  • Parkinson’s disease . This condition is caused due to the death of several cells that allow the control and coordination of body movements. The most characteristic symptom of this disease is tremors in different parts of the body and difficulty speaking and moving.
  • Stroke . It is the consequence of the interruption of the blood flow to the brain, usually due to the narrowing of the arteries. When the brain stops receiving blood, it also stops receiving oxygen and nutrients essential to its function, which can cause cell death and permanent brain damage.
  • Dementia . The loss of brain function mainly affects memory, thinking, behavior, judgment, and language. It is a disease associated with other pathologies and old age.
  • Brain tumor . It is any tumor that appears in the area of ​​the brain, and that causes cell damage causing inflammation or exerting pressure and increasing intracranial pressure. The cause of the appearance of primary brain tumors is unknown.

Nerve damage

  • Facial or cervical trauma. Any injury, blow fracture, whiplash, or impact that the muscles in these areas receive damages the nerves that transmit nerve impulses.
  • Surgery . Surgical interventions in the head and neck area pose a risk of nerve damage. Likewise, partial or total removal of the league can also trigger dysarthria.
  • Cerebral palsy . This condition is caused by various disorders that affect brain function and the nervous system, compromising movement, learning, vision, hearing, and thinking.
  • Myasthenia gravis . It is a neuromuscular disease; it involves the muscle and the nerves that control it. Like sclerosis, myasthenia is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, blocking the muscle tissue, and preventing it from receiving any message from the nerve cell.
  • Muscular dystrophy . It is an inherited disorder that causes muscle weakness and progressively affects muscle tissue. Therefore, it is a condition that worsens over time.
  • Other causes. Excessive alcohol intoxication, poorly inserted dentures, side effects of medications for the functioning of the central nervous system.

Symptoms of dysarthria

The main symptom of dysarthria is the inability to make certain sounds and pronounce some words; however, depending on its cause, this pathology may be accompanied by other symptoms. The symptoms of dysarthria are:

  • Make a sound similar to a murmur when speaking.
  • Whisper or speak very softly.
  • Nasal, congested, hoarse, or strained voice.
  • They are chewing or swallowing problems.
  • Difficulty moving lips, tongue, and jaw.

Treatment of dysarthria

To treat dysarthria, the first thing to do is diagnose it; for this, the doctor must take a patient’s medical history in search of conditions that may be causing discomfort to speech. Afterward, some tests and exams may be needed, such as:

  • Laryngoscopy: is performed to visualize the health of the larynx and vocal cords. It is done by inserting a laryngoscope down the throat.
  • Blood tests to know the levels of vitamins and toxins.
  • Imaging tests such as brain MRI or brain or neck CT.
  • Nerve conduction studies and electromyography to study nerve and muscle function.
  • She was swallowing analysis.

Once dysarthria has been diagnosed and its cause is known, the doctor may refer you to a speech therapist, a specialist dedicated to speech disturbances. In conjunction with a speech therapist and a speech therapist, dysarthria treatment may include:

  • Chewing and swallowing techniques.
  • Avoid talking when tired.
  • Repetition of certain sounds during the day to learn specific movements of the mouth.
  • Learn to speak more slowly, projecting the voice and making use of pauses for better understanding.
  • Use of computers to type words.
  • Use of cards with symbols or letters.
  • Using software to create spoken words by writing them or using characters.

Is dysarthria cured?

Depending on the cause of the disease, dysarthria can quickly get better or worse :

  • Dysarthria can improve when it is caused by taking medications or dental prostheses.
  • Most people with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis do not usually lose all of their speech.
  • People with ALS end up losing the ability to speak.
  • When dysarthria is caused by a stroke or brain injury, it always tends to get better.
  • After tongue or laryngeal surgery, dysarthria improves with therapy.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dysarthria: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .

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