Toward a theory of stuttering

Anthony R. Mawson, Nola Radford, Binu Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stuttering affects about 1% of the general population and from 8 to 11% of children. The onset of persistent developmental stuttering (PDS) typically occurs between 2 and 4 years of age. The etiology of stuttering is unknown and a unifying hypothesis is lacking. Clues to the pathogenesis of stuttering include the following observations: PDS is associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and birth-associated trauma; stuttering can recur or develop in adulthood following traumatic events such as brain injury and stroke; PDS is associated with structural and functional abnormalities in the brain associated with speech and language; and stuttering resolves spontaneously in a high percentage of affected children. Evidence marshaled from the literature on stuttering and from related sources suggests the hypothesis that stuttering is a neuro-motor disorder resulting from perinatal or later-onset hypoxic-ischemic injury (HII), and that chronic stuttering and its behavioral correlates are manifestations of recurrent transient ischemic episodes affecting speech-motor pathways. The hypothesis could be tested by comparing children who stutter and nonstutterers (controls) in terms of the occurrence of perinatal trauma, based on birth records, and by determining rates of stuttering in children exposed to HII during the perinatal period. Subject to testing, the hypothesis suggests that interventions to increase brain perfusion directly could be effective both in the treatment of stuttering and its prevention at the time of birth or later trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Neurology
Volume76
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

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Stuttering
Wounds and Injuries
Parturition
Birth Certificates
Efferent Pathways
Brain
Brain Injuries

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Toward a theory of stuttering. / Mawson, Anthony R.; Radford, Nola; Jacob, Binu.

In: European Neurology, Vol. 76, No. 5-6, 01.11.2016, p. 244-251.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Mawson, AR, Radford, N & Jacob, B 2016, 'Toward a theory of stuttering', European Neurology, vol. 76, no. 5-6, pp. 244-251. https://doi.org/10.1159/000452215
Mawson, Anthony R. ; Radford, Nola ; Jacob, Binu. / Toward a theory of stuttering. In: European Neurology. 2016 ; Vol. 76, No. 5-6. pp. 244-251.
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