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Disrupted white matter in language and motor tracts in developmental stuttering

Connally, E., Ward, D., Howell, P. and Watkins, K. E. (2013) Disrupted white matter in language and motor tracts in developmental stuttering. Brain and Language, 131. pp. 25-35. ISSN 0093-934X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2013.05.013

Abstract/Summary

White matter tractsc onnecting areas involved in speech and motor control were examined using diffusion-tensor imagingingin a sample of peoplewhostutter (n=29) who were heterogeneous with respect to age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. The goals were to replicate previous findings in developmental stuttering and to extend ourknowledge by evaluating the relationship between white matter differences in people who stutter and factors such as age, sex, handedness and stuttering severity. We replicated previous findings that showed reduced integrity in white matter underlying ventral premotorcortex, cerebral peduncles and posteriorcorpus callosum in people who stutter, relative to controls. Tractography analysis additionally revealed significantly reduced white matter integrity in the arcuate fasciculus bilaterally and the left corticospinal tract and significantly reduced connectivity within theleft corticobulbar tract in people who stutter. Region-of-interest analyses revealed reduced white matter integrity in people whostutter in the three pairs ocerebellar peduncles thatcarry the afferent and efferent fibers of the cerebellum. Within thegroup of people who stutter, the higher the stuttering severity index, the lower the white matter integrity in the leftangular gyrus but the greater the white matter connectivity in theleft corticobulbartract. Also,in people who stutter, handedness and age predicted the integrity of the corticospinal tract and peduncles, respectively. Further studies are needed to determine which of these white matter differences relate to the neural basis of stuttering and which reflect experience-dependent plasticity.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:31405
Publisher:Elsevier

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