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Speech disorders

Related Terms

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Background

  • Speech disorders occur when an individual has difficulty communicating through speech. Patients may have difficulty pronouncing sounds, talking in a fluent rhythm, or have abnormalities in the pitch, quality, or volume of speech. Speech disorders may be serious, minor, temporary, or permanent.
  • Individuals are able to create vocal sounds when the vocal cords vibrate. The vocal cords are a pair of fibrous tissue that lie across the air column in the middle of the voice box (called the larynx).
  • There are many possible causes of speech disorders, including hearing loss, neurological disorders (such as Parkinson's disease), brain injuries, mental retardation, drug abuse, physical impairments (such as a cleft lip or palate), and overuse of the voice. However, in many cases, the exact cause of the speech disorder is unknown.
  • Usually, speech disorders can be improved with speech-language therapy. In some cases, surgery may be needed to correct a physical problem (such as a cleft palate) that is causing symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment has been shown to increase an individual's long-term prognosis.

Types and Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.