Stuttering Linked to Reduced Blood Flow in Broca’s Area
[Source: Science Daily]
A study led by researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 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.
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.
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