Dysarthria: Symptom and Causes


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
  • Inability to speak louder or barely able to whisper
  • Slow rate of speech
  • Rapid rate of speech with a "mumbling" quality
  • Abnormal intonation (rhythm) when speaking
  • Changes in vocal quality 
  • Hoarseness
  • Breathiness
  • Drooling or poor control of saliva
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, and moving the tongue or facial muscles


Many conditions can cause dysarthria. Some common causes are 
  • Stroke
  • Brain tumor, Brain trauma
  • Infection
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Bell’s palsy, Cerebral palsy
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Medications such as narcotics or tranquilizers that affect the central nervous system

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