Anomalies identified in a key speech pathway of the brain connected to speech


Author Name: Annie Froster

Category Name: Speech pathology and Therapy

Description:  Anomalies identified in a key speech pathway of the brain connected to speech

One in 1000 children has apraxia, but understating the origins of this debilitating speech disorder has until now remained elusive. A team of researchers, led by MCRI speech pathologist, has identified anomalies in a key speech pathway of the brain connected to speech. A better understanding could help neuroscientists and speech pathologists look to developing more targeted treatments for children. Children with apraxia fail to learn to speak clearly and combine sounds properly, the timing and sequencing of their words is also affected. People struggle to understand what they say, which has major negative long-term effects on their ability to form social relationships, self-esteem, academic achievements and quality of life, Prof Morgan said.

Researcher said the research team was able to identify irregularities in a core brain pathway in apraxia sufferers. "Normal MRI scans found no anomalies, but we used a very sophisticated scan, that enables Brain Tractography analysis, which measures the integrity of brain pathways, We looked at the brains of seven families members with apraxia and found there were core differences in a key brain tract for speech -- the dorsal language stream. This newly discovered variance in that brain pathway appeared to be critical to how people listen and then produce speech.

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