Anarthria is speechlessness due to a severe loss of neuromuscular control over the speech musculature and is the most severe form of dysarthria. Language and cognition may be intact, but the neuromuscular disorder prevents speech. Anarthric patients are motivated to speak but are unable.
Some patients with anarthria can produce some oral movements and/or undifferentiated vocalizations when attempting to speak. Occasionally, there is no concomitant limb movement disorder, but there is almost always a nonspeech oromotor impairment. Frequent causes include brainstem stroke, multiple strokes, closed head injury, and degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
References and Readings
- Duffy, J. R. (2013). Motor speech disorders: Substrates, differential diagnosis, and management (3rd ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby.Google Scholar