Common causes are:
- Brain tumor or traumatic brain injury
- Conditions that paralyze the face or cause weakness, such as Bell palsy
Degenerative brain diseases, such as
- Alzheimer disease
- Huntington chorea
- Parkinson disease
Neuromuscular diseases, such as:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Myasthenia gravis
- Alcohol or substance use disorder
- Surgery or weakness on the tongue
- Structural problems, such as not wearing dentures
- Side effects of medicines that act on the central nervous system
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the muscles needed for speech.
Images may be taken of the brain. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
- CT scan
- PET scan
- Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scan
The electrical function of your nerves and muscles may be tested. This can be done with:
- A nerve conduction study
- An electromyogram
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Heart and Stroke Foundation http://www.heartandstroke.com
Speech-Language and Audiology Canada http://sac-oac.ca
Dysarthria. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dysarthria. Accessed January 26, 2021.
O'Hare A, Bremner L. Management of developmental speech and language disorders: Part 1. Arch Dis Child. 2016 Mar;101(3):272-277.
Speech and language disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/speech-and-language-disorders. Accessed January 26, 2021.
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