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Stuttering linked to decreased blood flow in the brain



According to a new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, stuttering in both children and adults may be linked to activity in the Broca’s area.

Bradley Peterson, M.D., the lead researcher, called the new findings “a critical mass of evidence.”

Essentially, researchers found that when regional cerebral blood flow is reduced in the Broca’s area of the brain — located in the frontal lobe — stuttering is more likely to occur.

The more severe the stuttering, the greater the decrease of blood flow in the Broca’s region of the brain.

Moreover, tests measuring blood flow in patients who stutter was never conducted before this particular research study, CHLA experts stated.

Utilizing proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, researchers at CHLA were able to observe different brain regions of patients with stuttering problems.

Based on the findings, stuttering may be synonymous with changes in the brain circuits which control speech production.

Jay Desai, MD, a neurologist at CHLA, gave the following statement about the study.

“When other portions of the brain circuit related to speech were also affected according to our blood flow measurements, we saw more severe stuttering in both children and adults.”

“Blood flow was inversely correlated to the degree of stuttering – the more severe the stuttering, the less blood flow to this part of the brain,” Desai concluded.


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