Dysarthria(redirected from impairment of speech)
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a disorder of articulate speech, expressed in difficult or distorted pronunciation of certain words, syllables, and sounds (mainly consonants). It arises as a result of diseases of various parts of the brain or disruption of innervation of the vocal cords, the muscles of the soft palate, or the facial or respiratory muscles; it also occurs because of harelip, cleft palate, or the absence of teeth. As a secondary consequence of dysarthria, one often observes a disturbance in writing, caused by the difficulty in distinct enunciation of the sound composition of a word. Dysarthria may be expressed in varying degrees. In serious cases speech becomes incomprehensible, which limits communication with others and leads to secondary deviations in general development. The removal of speech defects characteristic of dysarthria is achieved by means of logopedic therapy or by treatment of the basic disease causing it.