We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language
News

Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language

Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language
News

Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Stuttering linked to reduced blood flow in area of brain associated with language"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

A study led by researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) demonstrates what lead investigator Bradley Peterson, MD, calls "a critical mass of evidence" of a common underlying lifelong vulnerability in both children and adults who stutter.


They discovered that regional cerebral blood flow is reduced in the Broca's area—the region in the frontal lobe of the brain linked to speech production—in persons who stutter. More severe stuttering is associated with even greater reductions in blood flow to this region.


See Also: Brain develops abnormally over lifespan of people who stutter


In addition, a greater abnormality of cerebral blood flow in the posterior language loop, associated with processing words that we hear, correlates with more severe stuttering.


This finding suggests that a common pathophysiology throughout the neural "language" loop that connects the frontal and posterior temporal lobe likely contributes to stuttering severity.


Peterson, who is director of the Institute for the Developing Mind at CHLA and a professor of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, says that such a study of resting blood flow, or perfusion, has never before been conducted in persons who stutter. His team also recently published a study using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to look at brain regions in both adults and children who stutter.


Learn More: New insights on stuttering treatment


Those findings demonstrated links between stuttering and changes in the brain circuits that control speech production, as well as those supporting attention and emotion. The present blood flow study adds significantly to the findings from that prior study and furthermore suggests that disturbances in the speech processing areas of the brain are likely of central importance as a cause of stuttering.


According to Peterson, the new study, published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, provides scientists with a completely different window into the brain. The researchers were able to zero in on the Broca's area as well as related brain circuitry specifically linked to speech, using regional cerebral blood flow as a measure of brain activity, since blood flow is typically coupled with neural activity.


Related: Stuttering related to brain circuits that control speech production


"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," said first author Jay Desai, MD, a clinical neurologist at CHLA. "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," said Desai, adding that the study results were "quite striking."


Note: Material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


Children's Hospital Los Angeles   press release


Publication

Desai J et al. Reduced perfusion in Broca's area in developmental stuttering.  Human Brain Mapping, Published Online December 30 2016. doi: 10.1002/hbm.23487


Advertisement