Dysarthria / Slurred Speech
What is dysarthria?
Dysarthria is a condition that results in distorted speech. The cause is difficulty controlling or coordinating the muscles you use when you speak, or weakness of those muscles. Dysarthria often is characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.
Common causes of dysarthria include stroke, brain injury and brain tumor, conditions that cause facial paralysis or weakness, and degenerative disorders. Our speech-language pathologists (SLP) can evaluate a person with speech difficulties and determine the nature and severity of the problem. The SLP will look at movement of the lips, tongue, and face, as well as breath support for speech, voice quality, and more.
A person with dysarthria may experience any of the following symptoms, depending on the extent and location of damage to the nervous system:
- "Slurred" speech
- Speaking softly or barely able to whisper
- Slow rate of speech
- Rapid rate of speech with a "mumbling" quality
- Limited tongue, lip, and jaw movement
- Abnormal intonation (rhythm) when speaking
- Changes in vocal quality ("nasal" speech or sounding "stuffy")
- Drooling or poor control of saliva
- Chewing and swallowing difficulty