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Speech therapy can reduce stuttering: study

Those who received speech therapy showed an improvement in average scores on stuttering tests.

Written by Agencies | Beijing |
August 10, 2012 5:34:09 pm

Just one week of speech therapy can reorganise the brain and reduce stuttering,a new study has claimed.

Researchers from Beijing Normal University in China found that those participants who received speech therapy showed an improvement in average scores on stuttering tests and per cent of stuttered syllables than those who did not receive therapy.

The study involved 28 people who stuttered and 13 people who did not stutter. Fifteen of the people with stuttering received a week of therapy with three sessions per day. The other stutterers received no therapy.

Therapy involved the participants repeating two-syllable words that were spoken to them and then reading words presented to them visually.

There was no time limit in either task. Brain scans were used to measure the thickness of the cerebral cortex in the brain for all participants at the beginning and end of the study.

They also measured the interactions between areas of the brain while at rest,called resting state functional connectivity.

Thickness and strength of interactions was reduced in an area of the brain important in speech and language production called the pars opercularis for those with stuttering compared to the controls.

Increased strength of interactions was found in the cerebellum for those with stuttering compared to the controls.

For those who received the therapy,the functional connectivity in the cerebellum was reduced to the same level as that of the controls. There was no change in the pars

opercularis area of the brain.

“These results show that the brain can reorganise itself with therapy,and that changes in the cerebellum are a result of the brain compensating for stuttering,” said study author Chunming Lu of Beijing Normal University in China.

“They also provide evidence that the structure of the pars opercularis area of the brain is altered in people with stuttering,” Lu said in a statement.

The study was published in the journal Neurology.

📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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