What is it?

Dysarthria is a speech disorder in which speech is not understood and sounds slurred, heavy, and strenuous. The cause of the disorder is damage to the brain areas or to the muscles that control the pronunciation organs - the lips, cheeks, tongue, palate, and jaw. The damage is caused as a result of a neurological or muscular disorder, such as stroke, brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (known as "ALS"), certain medications, and more. In most cases, dysarthria does not go away, but there are ways to regain speech abilities to some extent.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Speech articulation disorder

Signs & symptoms

Speech difficulties may appear at different severity levels. Speech may sound slurred, monotone, mumbled, have an uneven rhythm or jerky. Additionaly, there may be drooling or Trouble chewing or swallowing. In most cases, the problem is only in speech and pronunciation, and the person knows what he wants to say and experiences frustration from not being understood.


The appearance of new dysarthria requires urgent examination by a physician. Diagnosis of the cause of dysarthria includes a physical and neurological examination of the neurological and muscular functions. In addition, one or more of the following tests may be needed:
- blood and urine tests.
- Brain imaging tests (such as MRI or CT)
- Spinal fluid examination (lumbar puncture)
- nerve and muscle studies, like EEG (electroencephalography) or EMG (electromyography)


Treatment of dysarthria consists of two components:
- Treatment of the underlying disease responsible for dysarthria
- Treatment of speech difficulties, using speech therapy. This treatment focuses on strengthening and improving control of the pronunciation
organs, and improving speech intelligibility and sound quality.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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