Thx Dave for writing the first comment on my blog!!! Despite me misspelling his name, linking him to his official rather than personal website, and the Comment section at www.blogger.com being a bit cumbersome. I will be forever grateful! ;-)
The way that the blog site handles comments is indeed a bit cumbersome. You can get to the COMMENTS page by clicking on the x Comments at the end of my posts. Each post has a comments page to it. On this page, you can read the comments or write one yourself, or reply to another comments.
I'll see if I can make the layout more intuitive by using another template or edit the code myself. I just need to take some time to understand the HTML add-ons that they use.
Concerning Dave's question "Do you think there are any brain changes before and after!?". My answer is: It depends on what you mean by "brain changes". I can think of three meanings: 1) an un-detectable change in the brain (like new memories, learned behaviour) 2) a detectable functional change in the brain (like a region is now under or overactivated in comparison with the activation for the same task before), or 3) a detectable structural change in the brain (like the auditory processing region in a blind person becomes larger).
It is clear that the/any therapy leads to type-1 changes, as most patients are noticeably more fluent just after intensive fluency shaping therapy , for example. There must be something different to their brains. On the other hand, relapse is the norm, and thus this change is not very long-lasting.
Concerning type-2, I know of two brain imaging studies by Neumann et al. and by de Nil et al. that see that the typically PDS right-brain activation disappears about treatment (therapy), and more. So, the answer is yes there are detectable differences in the brain, assuming their results are OK. But I think the point might be that the activation has changed because the brain calls up a different software, but the old one leading to stuttering is still there waiting...
Concerning type-3, there is not evidence. I guess this is possible, but only over the long time. To which degree is not clear to me?
More research is needed.
Interesting questions from the top of my head: Does this change also happen for post-block modification or drugs? What is the role of the PDS severity? How much can the brain really change? Can you do brain scans and predict whether a person is more likely to get better? Can you distinguish in brain scans between neurological cause and the habits/learned behaviour? I.e. two people might stutter equally strong, but one has 10% neurological 90% habits and the other 90% neurological and 10% habits? Making therapy more individual might decrease relapse?
In my next post, I will talk about computers/software in therapy.