August 1, 2011

Stutter-Mind-Body - Part 1

This post is the 1st installment towards my review of blog “Stutter-mind-body”.

The anonymous author started this blog in July’10.In this post, I have tried a suitable review on all the articles posted from July’10 to Dec’10.

The author has tried to explain how body & then mind affects stuttering & its intensity.

At many occasions, he had used the word ‘brain’ to refer body. He distinguished brain as the part of body positioned in human skull while mind is the representation of consciousness & self awareness.

He termed stuttering as an ailment which used to start at earlier childhood with minor word/alphabet repetitions etc., about which the child was totally unaware. At that level, only body plays his role with mind having no grounds at all. With passage of time, negative reactions of parents/peers/teachers induces mind part to play his role & support the body part to develop secondary symptoms like blocks, uneasy physical expressions etc.

The percentage share of mind & body towards stuttering enjoys a wide range among all stutterers. For instance, any 2 stutterers might reflect same level of severity while talking but body part may dominate in 1st person while mind part in the second one.

In that case, a drug therapy should be tried for the 1st person while any psychological approach of treatment would be beneficial for second person.

Further, the author have thrown light on medical aspects of stuttering; certainty of excessive activity of dopamine (a neurotransmitter in human brain; can we considered as a part of our brain) as the potential reason for stuttering. Although he rose questions on validity of this reason & suggested to wait for any latest updates for its credentials.

Meanwhile, assuming excessive dopaminergic activity of the brain as the principle cause of stuttering, he spent few posts for in-depth analysis of the same. GABA is also a neurotransmitter in human brain, which inhibits the excessive activity of Dopamine. So, any drug which either slows down the excessive activity of Dopamine or enhances the activity of GABA can be credited as a fluency improver.

Benzodiazepines are drugs that are supposed to be GABA activity inducers, hence fluency improvers. Reduction is anxiety is an additional benefit of these drugs towards stuttering. But sleep inducing is a side effect of these drugs. Although the author have clearly given the massage of using these medicines only when utmost needed like prior to job interviews or public speaking otherwise any one can develop a dependency on these medicines if used frequently.

Further, the author had named Pagoclone, used to reduce anxiety also a drug for speech fluency.

So I would like to stop here to come back fresh with reviews of further posts of this blog.

At last but not the least, I would like to summarize this post as :-

Stuttering got both physical (body) & mental (mind) aspects. Every stutterer got different contribution levels of these 2 aspects towards his stuttering, so the treatment should be decided depending on the contribution levels.

The author have shown faith in drug therapy for fluency improvement. Benzodiaphenes & Pagoclones are some of the drugs, can prove handy if used wisely.

2 comments:

sachin said...

Good work Ashish. The author has a leaning towards drugs, may be because he is a neurologist or a medical professional- I guess. Recent trials have shown that all these drugs have significant side effects and other constraints..so..may be it is a personal choice- to what extent are we bothered by our stammering..?

Ashish Agarwal said...

Yes Dr.Sachin.Also it is quite difficult to grasp the idea that any drug can give PERMANANT fluency as stuttering got both mind & body aspects so entangled & mess up with each other.So any approach that will target 1 aspect certainly will not give permanant fluency.