Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your treatment will depend on the cause and severity of your symptoms, and the type of dysarthria you have.
Your doctor will treat the underlying cause of your dysarthria when possible, which may improve your speech. If your dysarthria is caused by prescription medications, talk to your doctor about the possibility of changing or discontinuing such medications.
Speech and language therapy
You may have speech and language therapy to help you regain normal speech and improve your communication. A speech-language pathologist can determine the severity of your speech difficulties, develop a treatment plan to improve your speech and work with you to put that plan into action. Your speech therapy goals may include adjusting your speech rate, strengthening your muscles, increasing your breath support, increasing your speech articulation and helping your family members understand how to effectively communicate with you.
Your speech-language pathologist may recommend other communication methods (augmentative and alternative communication systems) to help you communicate, if speech and language therapy isn't effective. These communication methods could include visual cues, gestures, an alphabet board or computer-based technology.
- Dysarthria. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/dysarthria/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Goetz CG. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:79.
- Dysarthria: Causes and number. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/DysarthriaCauses.htm. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Treatment efficacy summary — Dysarthria (neurological motor speech impairment). American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/EfficacySummaries/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2012.
- Cohen SM, et al. Palliative treatment of dysphonia and dysarthria. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2009;42:107.
- Ropper AH, et al. Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=54. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.