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Hemispheric Lateralization of Motor Thresholds in Relation to Stuttering

Hemispheric Lateralization of Motor Thresholds in Relation to Stuttering

Authors: 
P.A. Alm, R. Karlsson, M. Sundberg & H.W. Axelson
Year: 
2013
Journal: 
Plos ONE open-access, online publication
Abstract: 

Stuttering is a complex speech disorder. Previous studies indicate a tendency towards elevated motor threshold for the left hemisphere, as measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This may reflect a monohemispheric motor system impairment. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relative side-to-side difference (asymmetry) and the absolute levels of motor threshold for the hand area, using TMS in adults who stutter (n = 15) and in controls (n = 15). In accordance with the hypothesis, the groups differed significantly regarding the relative side-to-side difference of finger motor threshold (p = 0.0026), with the stuttering group showing higher motor threshold of the left hemisphere in relation to the right. Also the absolute level of the finger motor threshold for the left hemisphere differed between the groups (p = 0.049). The obtained results, together with previous investigations, provide support for the hypothesis that stuttering tends to be related to left hemisphere motor impairment, and possibly to a dysfunctional state of bilateral speech motor control.

Full publication is available online: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0076824

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