Dysarthria is a condition in which the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them.

Dysarthria is often characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.

Common causes of dysarthria include the nervous system (neurological) disorders such as stroke, brain injury, brain tumors, and conditions that cause facial paralysis or tongue or throat muscle weakness. Certain medications also can cause dysarthria.
Dysarthria treatment is directed at treating the underlying cause of your condition when possible. You should have speech therapy to help improve speech.

Signs and symptoms of dysarthria vary, depending on the underlying cause and the type of dysarthria which 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

How is dysarthria diagnosed?

A speech-language pathologist can evaluate a person with speech difficulties and determine the nature and severity of the problem. The therapist will look at the movement of the tongue and face as well as breath support for speech and voice quality. The assessment will also include an examination of speech production in a variety of contexts.

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