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Stuttering May Stem From Brain Twists

Findings could lead to new treatments

Many experts have said stuttering may be caused by emotional factors such as stress. But new research is showing that stuttering could be related to irregularities in the structure of the brain.

According to an article from the BBC, persistent developmental stuttering, or PDS, may be caused by irregularities in areas of the brain that control language and speech.

In a recent study, experts took MRI brain scans of 16 people who had PDS and compared them to brain scans of 16 people who didn't. People with PDS has much larger right and left temporal lobes. Other irregularities were also detected. In addition, the study found differences between men and women, and between right-handers and left-handers who stutter.

Experts say study results could allow them to more effectively target treatment for people who stutter. Other experts say that, while the neurophysiological differences might have an effect, there are additional factors to consider, including what is going on in a child's life as well as personality traits, the article says. Most people who stutter do benefit from speech therapy.

To find out more about stuttering, you can read this from the American Speech-Hearing-Language Association, or this from the National Stuttering Association.

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