AUG 31, 2017 3:34 PM PDT

Stutter: The Science Behind the Stammer

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Stuttering, a speech disorder characterized by an irregular speech flow, affects about 3 million Americans. It was once thought that stuttering was caused solely by nervousness and anxiety, but we now know that this speech disorder is much more complex and is influenced by many different factors.

A large proportion of stuttering can be attributed to genetics. That is, 60 percent of people who stutter have a family member who also stutters. Despite this evidence, scientists have yet to fully understand the genetic contributions to stuttering. This may be complicated by other neurophysiological factors. In the most recent study of this condition, scientists linked reduced blood flow to the Broca's area to stuttering. Of note, Broca's area is the region in the frontal lobe of the brain linked to speech production.

Even though stuttering is a common phenomenon, it still carries a heavy social stigma. Many people who stutter often feel alone and isolated. However, awareness of this condition can be a powerful tool in dispelling the myths that surround stuttering.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
JUL 08, 2020
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
Researchers have found that the maternal instinct can override the brain's decision-making regions to prioritize car ...
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Researchers Debunk Cannabis Growing Myths
AUG 10, 2020
Researchers Debunk Cannabis Growing Myths
Researchers at Utah State University grew cannabis to study until the Controlled Substances Act came into force in 1970. ...
AUG 11, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
AUG 11, 2020
High THC Cannabis Linked to Anxiety
Researchers have found that people who use strains of cannabis high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive comp ...
AUG 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Asteroid May Collide With Earth in November
AUG 24, 2020
Asteroid May Collide With Earth in November
NASA has said that an asteroid known as 2018VP1 is heading towards Earth, and may potentially collide with our planet on ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
OCT 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
OCT 09, 2020
Ultra-hot Exoplanet Vaporizes Iron in its Atmosphere
Researchers from the University of Bern in Germany have found that an exoplanet, known as WASP-121b, is so hot that it c ...
Loading Comments...