Monday, December 03, 2007

Does fever reduce stuttering?


I have just read a fascinating article: see here.
Fever can temporarily unlock autism's grip on children, a finding that could shed light on the roots of the condition and perhaps provide clues for treatment, researchers reported on Monday.
It appears that fever restores nerve cell communications in regions of the autistic brain, restoring a child's ability to interact and socialize during the fever, the study said...He said the fever effect was believed found only in children, whose brains are more "plastic" than those of adults.
Before doing the same experiment with children who stutter, let's look for anecdotal evidence. I don't really know whether I am more fluent when I have fever. I have never really paid attention as a kid, so I cannot exclude the possibility. Does anyone of you observe such an effect?

10 comments:

Rafa said...

Very curious! I really experiment improvement in my stuttering when I am with fever! Why would it be? Would it be something that occurs in the thalamus?

Koki said...

Yes, I have the same experience. When I was a child my mother always wondered why I become so fluent when I have high fever. The conjencture was that due to the fever I couldn't think as fast as usual and therefore my thought was not any more faster than the ability to transform it into a sentence :-)

Simona said...

"What functions of the brain might be sensitive to such a relatively small increase in temperature as occurs with fever? There are many possibilities. Temperature-sensitive (missense) mutations are common in microbial and yeast genetics, with the protein being denatured at normal or slightly higher growth temperatures, but not at lower, permissive temperatures. Consider the temperature coefficient Q10 (fold-change in rate for a 10° change in temperature) for biochemical phenomena (10). A chemical reaction, that is, a bond breaking or formation (e.g., synthesis of GABA), would have a Q10 of about 2. In contrast, opening a channel, like a GABAA receptor, involving a simple protein conformational change, would likely have a Q10 less than 2. Likewise, protein folding is a temperature-sensitive process, but the Q10 is not high. However, with a cascade of complex chemical reactions—such as intracellular protein trafficking and membrane reactions—the Q10 would likely be 2 or larger. Thus, trafficking is very temperature-dependent: receptor function will increase with temperature as a result of elevated numbers of functional receptors, up to a point at which the mutated proteins are denatured. Changing GABAA receptor content at the cell surface is a feasible possibility for the temperature-sensitive events occurring with fever and is supported by the evidence of significant change in the relevant temperature range. A precedent, supporting this theory, is the temperature dependence of a clinically important genetic disease, cystic fibrosis. In one type of point mutation in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane-conductance regulator (CFTR) (11), the deficit in function was demonstrated to involve temperature-dependent intracellular retention and degradation of the protein."

When Is Hot Not So Hot? Fever Reduces Brain Inhibition

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1783473

Simona said...

above is a direct quote from article i found on pubmed by Richard W Olsen, PhD, not my own.

just to avoid confusion!

hui.yang said...

I also notice that I am more fluent when I get a fever, especially at the early state of a fever!

manuel said...

fever = distraction ...?!

Anonymous said...

Same with me. With fever I speak much better.

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

Pamela said...

Wish i could have answered this in the last decade but only searched for a link between stammering and fever now. My 2 year old son seemed to develop his stutter after a high fever some months back...and it's been pretty constant ever since... But he has been perfectly fluent these last few days and he has had a fever. Amazing

Bill said...

I did a search for a link between suffering a fever and a stutter and found this article. Our 3.5 year, who is bilingual and has been perfectly fluent, contracted the three day fever and rash (having a high temperature for a few days). Once his fever subsided, he developed a stutter. We're hoping it's just a phase he will grow out of soon, but as parents, we're certainly concerned. Looking at Pamela's post, perhaps it's also possible that in some rare cases, running a high temperature could trigger stuttering in previously fluent children?