Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where is the brain Anne-Marie Simon?

A reader sent me a link to an interview with Anne-Marie Simon by the French magazine L'Express:
A quoi le bégaiement est-il dû?
Le bégaiement est un trouble de la communication affectant la parole. Personne ne connaît précisément son étiologie. Que ce soit en France, au Japon ou aux Etats-Unis. On peut parler seulement de causes par la preuve. Il existe ce que l'on appelle les facteurs 3P. Pour Prédispose l'enfant, Précipite le trouble et le troisième, le Pérennise. Lors d'une consultation, ce n'est qu'après avoir rencontré famille et enfant que l'on pourra essayer de comprendre quel facteur a agi. Ce peut être les trois comme un seul. La maladie touche des domaines comme l'endocrinologie, la psychiatrie, ou encore la neurologie. La génétique a permis de voir qu'il existe des familles de bègues, qu'un parent bègue a trois fois plus de risques d'avoir un enfant qui bégaiera, que les vrais jumeaux ont six fois plus de risques que les deux soient bègues que pour des jumeaux normaux.
Here is the translation:
What is causing stuttering?

Stuttering is a communication disorder affecting speech. No-one knows exactly its etiology. Be it in France, Japan, or the US. Only evidence let's us speak of causes. There are three factors: predisposing, triggering, and perpetuating the disorder. Only after having met the family and the child can one try to understand which factor was relevant. It could be all three acting as one. The illness touches on fields like endocrinology, psychiatry, and also neurology. Genetics shows that stuttering families exist, that a stuttering parent increases the risk of having a stuttering child by three, and that true twins (with identical DNA) are six times more likely to develop stuttering than normal twins.
I am amazed that she does not mention the very clear findings in brain imaging on structural and functional abnormalities in the neurology of the stuttering brain. How does she think that genes are making families stutter, increasing the risk for kids to start stuttering, and give true twins a six times greater chance that both stutter? If not by neurology? Saying that the disorder "touches" neurology is like explaining babies to your young children by saying that daddy's penis is touching mummy's vagina and then a baby grows in mummy's belly. I wonder why she is so reluctant to tell the truth. I have two ideas: first, the French psyche and establishment is just too much focused on the psycho-analytical causes so anything more than touching would be a scandal! Second, she cannot explain how people who stutter can be fluent and still have a dysfunctional neurology, and therefore the brain findings must be wrong or her brain hides them from her. In the same sentences she says that stuttering touches psychiatry. I have never heard anyone say that. And endocrinology is also a wild guess.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you *know* what she told the journalist? Clearly you do as you ascribe motives to her such as "being afraid to tell the truth" but I wasn't aware you were in the room when she was being interviewed.

Journalists have a nasty habit of misunderstanding and misquoting. I'm sure you will have emailed her to ascertain that this is what she actually said and believes before slagging her off.

Tom Weidig said...

It is her responsibility to make sure she was adequately quoted.

I ALWAYS request a proof reading of the journalist's draft, especially where s/he quotes me. If they refuse, I don't give the interview and complain with their editor. If they agreed and did not do, I complain with their editor.

It is irrelevant what she said. It's out in the public and these are now her exact words whether she said them or not.

Anonymous said...

it must be just wonderful being Tom Weidig

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above:

Why is it wonderful to be Tom Weidig? He is criticizing this particular person, but he himself has no idea what he's talking about. How do genes cause stuttering? Tom Weidig has no idea and no answer. What aspects of neurology can be used to try and understand stuttering? Where in the brain should we focus? Ask Tom Weidig, and he will not be able to give an intelligent answer. Tom is just like all the rest of the people who represent themselves as authorities on stuttering ... he is ignorant. But maybe "Anonymous" is right ... they say that ignorance is bliss, and Tom Weidig is ignorant.

Tom Weidig said...

Genes are delivering the construction plans for proteins that make up the brain. So clearly the structure is causal to stuttering.

And the empirical evidence from brain imaging is there, too.

The exact details are unclear, but that it's the brain is clear.

Anonymous said...

> The exact details are unclear, but that it's the brain is clear.

I have to laugh at that comment. Of course the brain is involved. The brain is involved in everything that we are and everything we do. Tom, you know nothing about stuttering - just like everybody else. So get off your high-horse!

Anonymous said...

Tiens, ce matin en lisant cet article, j'ai envie de déposer une bonne grosse merde sur ce blog qui devient de plus en plus... à chier.

Comment ça je suis irrespectueux ? Mais non, pas plus que notre cher Tom !

Tom Weidig said...

Tu dois devenir poete...

Je l'ai dit mille fois. On peux me critiquer avec des arguments, mais pas sans arguments.

Tom Weidig said...

>> I have to laugh at that comment. Of course the brain is involved. The brain is involved in everything that we are and everything we do. Tom, you know nothing about stuttering - just like everybody else. So get off your high-horse!

You clearly do not understand what I wrote. Of course, the brain is involved in everything, but the brain imaging has shown that the stuttering brain is STRUCTURALLY different! It is not the same type of brain as the average fluent person.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Tom - You need to join the SFA Brain trust.

Now delete this comment and enable Comment Moderation.

Anonymous said...

Don't delete me!

Why silence PWS....PWS will not be silenced.

Stop with the comment moderation.

Olivier said...

Les français n'ont pas tous envie de "ch..." sur ce blog ; ce serait oublier un peu les informations qu'il nous apportent, et la rigueur dont il fait preuve.

Je pense que Tom a été dur avec Anne-Marie Simon (qui est thérapeute avant tout, elle n'est pas dans la recherche) mais il a plus de patience que moi: sur mon blog, j'aurais retiré illico presto ces injures, français ou pas.

Continuez votre blog, Tom, mais soyez un peu plus "sweet" quand vous avez des reproches à faire.

Tom Weidig said...

Salut Olivier,

bon, la grande majorite de mes readers ne comprends pas the francais! ;-)

Mais si Anne-Marie Simon est therapeute et a une responsabilite de communiquer les grandes lignes. J'ai plutot l'impression qu'elle ne veuille pas accepter la realite des experiments.

Ciao,
Tom

Anonymous said...

>Of course, the brain is involved in everything, but the brain imaging has shown that the stuttering brain is STRUCTURALLY different! It is not the same type of brain as the average fluent person.

My brain is structurally different from your brain. I've had different experiences from yours (which have affected my brain structure) and, of course, there are congenital differences. I stutter, so obviously my brain will be structurally different from a "fluent" person's brain because (at the very least) I have had a life-long experience with stuttering, which affected my brain structure. Your comment that stuttering "is in the brain" is meaningless and stupid. Is that the best you can do? If you can explain *where* in the brain stuttering occurs, and *exactly how* the brain stutters, then I will say that your ideas are worthy of respect. Until then, you are just another crackpot who criticizes other crackpots. Again: get off your high-horse!

Tom Weidig said...

1) Brains are structurally very similar and not different.

2) Brain imaging has identified brain regions where stuttering people differ significantly from non-stuttering people.

3) Again,there is a proven genetic component which can only act if some genes affect the structure of the brain.

I don't say where and exactly how because I do not know and the experiments are not clear about it. But what they are clear about is that there is a difference.

And these are not my ideas but that of many scientists working in the field.

Unlike the crackpots, I am not ignoring experimental findings.