Dysarthria is a condition in which the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them. Dysarthria often is characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.
Signs and symptoms of dysarthria vary, depending on the underlying cause and the type of dysarthria, and may include: • Slurred speech • Slow speech • Inability to speak louder than a whisper or speaking too loudly • Rapid speech that is difficult to understand • Nasal, raspy or strained voice • Uneven or abnormal speech rhythm • Uneven speech volume • Monotone speech • Difficulty moving your tongue or facial muscles
Treatment depends on the cause, type, and severity of the symptoms. An SLP works with the individual to improve communication abilities. Some possible goals of treatment include: • Slowing the rate of speech • Improving the breath support so the person can speak more loudly • Strengthening muscles • Increasing tongue and lip movement • Improving speech sound production so that speech is more clear • Teaching caregivers, family members, and teachers strategies to better communicate with the person with dysarthria • In severe cases, learning to use alternative means of communication (e.g., simple gestures, alphabet boards, or electronic or computer-based equipment)
A newly published prevalence study of hereditary ataxias (total of 171 subjects) found only one subject with AVED in Southeast Norway. We describe two more patients, one from the Central part and one from the Northern part of Norway. All 3 cases had age of onset in early childhood (age of 4-5 years) and all experienced gait ataxia and dysarthria.