Slurred Speech

Head | Neurology | Slurred Speech (Symptom)


Slurred Speech represents abnormal speech in which words are not enunciated clearly or completely but are run together or partially eliminated. Slurred speech is a symptom characterized by poor pronunciation of words, mumbling, or a change in speed or rhythm during talking. The medical term for slurred speech is dysarthria.


The condition may be caused by weakness of the muscles or articulation, damage to a motor neuron, cerebellar disease, drug use, or carelessness. Slurred speech may develop slowly over time or follow a single incident. Slurred speech may be temporary or permanent, depending on the underlying cause. Proper speech requires normal function of the brain, mouth, tongue, and vocal cords. Damage or disease affecting any of these organs may cause slurred speech.

Common causes of slurred speech include alcohol or drug intoxication, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and neuromuscular disorders. Neuromuscular disorders that often cause slurred speech include amyotrophic lateral sclerosiscerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease. Slurred speech may be a symptom of serious or life-threatening condition, such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Symptoms of slurred speech include difficulty in talking, incoherent and distorted speech are a few symptoms of slurred speech. Low volume, weak voice and slower speech are also some of its symptoms. The victim will also experience difficulty with resonance and pitch control. The victim voice will appear as if he is speaking from the nose. People suffering from slurred speech also tend to take long pauses in between the words. The occurrence of speech errors when the sentences are complex and long. Extra addition of syllables in the words. The victim will be unable to coo with the vowels. He or she will also experience difficulty in babbling using consonant sounds.