Thursday, January 20, 2011

Do dopamine levels play a role in stuttering?

Holger made me aware that a study on Dopamine Function in Developmental Stuttering has recently been closed. The study
will use positron emission tomography (PET) to examine the role of the chemical messenger dopamine in stuttering. It will measure and compare the number of dopamine receptors and the amount of dopamine released in the brains of stutterers with that of normal volunteers. The results may provide information about how drugs that block dopamine's effect might work to enable fluent speech.
Jerry Maguire is quite interested in this area of research since his involvement in a similar experiment in 1997.

I am just concerned because the starting date is 2001. Did it take ten years? And I never heard about it? Maybe the study never materialized. Would be great if someone could check or replicate Jerry's work.

6 comments:

ig88sir said...

FYI - Lowering my dopamine levels made me stutter much worse. I have tried Pagaclone and Zyprexa. Not all PWS are part of this subtype.

Tom Weidig said...

@ig88sir: Stuttering could also be due to a imbalance in dopamine. For some it's too high, for others it's too low.

Anonymous said...

My stutter goes from severe to very mild when I take Ritalin. Ritalin is said to raise dopamine levels so Tom's last comment makes sense. I am told to take a pill every four hours for ADD. I don't don't have any problems remembering because after about four hours my stuttering returns if force.

vanizorc said...

I've always thought stuttering was associated with high dopamine levels, according to the academic journals I've read. But like Tom said, it's possible that stuttering may be due to an *imbalance*, rather than specifically too low or too high levels of dopamine.

I have yet to take any kind of antidepressants, so I'm just speculating here. By the way, who here has tried Pagloclone? Are the results long-lasting and promising?

Joshua Seethal said...

Can anyone recommend anything to deal with stuttering blocks? I was looking into Pagoclone but was disappointed to discover that the results of the study were deemed a failure (this was back in 2010), despite many participants confirming they could tell a clear difference between the placebo and the actual pill, and there being no recognisable side effects.

I have considered that the effectiveness of a treatment depends on the person; that there are many "cures" and not just one universal cure. It may be that different treatments such as speech therapy, use of the speech-easy device, pagaclone, etc. are only effective on certain types of people. It is up to us to determine the most effective treatment. The imbalance of dopamine, rather than a high or a low level possibly shows this.

Since the FDA rejected pagaclone despite it being effective for some, are they instead trying to find a universal "cure" rather than considering the possibility of there being more than one treatment?

Joshua Seethal said...

Can anyone recommend anything to deal with stuttering blocks? I was looking into Pagoclone but was disappointed to discover that the results of the study were deemed a failure (this was back in 2010), despite many participants confirming they could tell a clear difference between the placebo and the actual pill, and there being no recognisable side effects.

I have considered that the effectiveness of a treatment depends on the person; that there are many "cures" and not just one universal cure. It may be that different treatments such as speech therapy, use of the speech-easy device, pagaclone, etc. are only effective on certain types of people. It is up to us to determine the most effective treatment. The imbalance of dopamine, rather than a high or a low level possibly shows this.

Since the FDA rejected pagaclone despite it being effective for some, are they instead trying to find a universal "cure" rather than considering the possibility of there being more than one treatment?