Monday, November 20, 2006

Spasmodic Dsyphonia a key to PDS?

Hugo sent me a very interesting email. The cartoonist and creator of Dilbert, Scott Adams, has been suffering from spamodic dysphonia after a bout with allergies. He discusses the illness in this post on his blog, see here:

The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that speech is processed in different parts of the brain depending on the context. So people with this problem can often sing but they can’t talk. In my case I could do my normal professional speaking to large crowds but I could barely whisper and grunt off stage. And most people with this condition report they have the most trouble talking on the telephone or when there is background noise. I can speak normally alone, but not around others. That makes it sound like a social anxiety problem, but it’s really just a different context, because I could easily sing to those same people.

Several symptoms are strikingly similar to stuttering, and supports the hypothesis that two systems are involved in speaking/singing. I spoke to Per Alm, and he believes that this effect supports his dual-pathway theory. Therefore, a closer study of spasmodic dysphonia might reveal more information about stuttering itself.


Frederico said...

This is a fantastic breakthrough. It's the definite and irrefutable proof that fluency disorders have neurological basis, and not emotional or psychological roots. Very revealing.

fluentsoul said...

Wow, that's some amazing stuff! As a stutterer myself and, more recently, as a mother of a child who stutters, I find your site very interesting.