12. DysarthriaDysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury of the motor component of the motor-speech system and is characterized by poor articulation of phonemes.
Individuals with dysarthria may experience challenges in the following: Timing, Vocal quality, Pitch, Volume, Breath control, Speed, Strength, Steadiness, Range and Tone.
CausesCauses of dysarthria include nervous system disorders such as stroke, brain injury, brain tumors; toxic, metabolic, degenerative diseases and conditions that cause facial paralysis or tongue or throat muscle weakness. It may also be caused by certain medications.
These result in lesions to key areas of the brain involved in planning, executing, or regulating motor operations in skeletal muscles, including muscles of the head and neck. This results in dysfunction, or failure of: the motor or somatosensory cortex of the brain, corticobulbar pathways, the cerebellum, basal nuclei, brainstem, or the neuro-muscular junction which block the nervous system's ability to activate motor units and effect correct range and strength of movements.
TreatmentArticulation problems resulting from dysarthria are treated by speech language pathologists, using treatments that include exercises to increase strength and control over articulator muscles and using alternate speaking techniques to increase speaker intelligibility.
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