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Genetics, Stuttering and the Primal Scream

science Dr. Dennis Drayna is a human geneticist well known to the stuttering community for his renowned work researching the genetic basis of speech disorders. His team has made groundbreaking discoveries in the field and he has frequently appeared at conferences to share his findings. In April he was interviewed by Ben Chambers on the podcast Speaking of Science. Here is a summary of the interview.

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Can therapy cause stuttering?

fluency_articulationResearch has shown that a child who stutters can be issue-free in all other areas of child development, such as IQ, overall cognitive skills, reading comprehension, and literacy. But it can also be the case that stuttering exists alongside other speech disorders. There is particular concern among some parents who have observed the onset of stuttering in their child during or after treatment for other disorders.

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ISTAR Research into Stuttering and Facial Movements

ISTAR

The Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR), part of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, is conducting a research study involving the changing facial movements of people who stutter while they are talking. Torrey Loucks, a professor at U of A, is the lead researcher, and says his work could shed light on potential treatments for stuttering. This study started in June 2018 and will be going on until October 2019.

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Stuttering research using brain scan technology

brain scan

Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is a diagnostic test for measuring biochemical changes in the brain. An MRS scan is conducted on the same machine used for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). It provides chemical information on metabolites (brain chemicals), and gives more information about the tissues of the human body, and not just the structure.

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