Dysarthria: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Dysarthria is a condition in which there is poor control or loss of control of the muscles used in speech, resulting in slurred or unintelligible speech. Speech may also be unusually slow in people with dysarthria. Drooling and problems with eating are often associated with dysarthria. The symptoms of dysarthria vary from person to person and are dependent upon the underlying cause of the condition and its severity. Disorders of the brain and nervous system and injuries to the brain are common causes of dysarthria, including stroke or brain tumors. Other causes are conditions that affect the muscles of the face or tongue directly. Some kinds of medications may also lead to dysarthria as a side effect, such as antiseizure medications or narcotic pain medications.

Other causes of dysarthria

  • Alcohol Intoxication
  • Ataxic Dysarthria
  • Medications
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Poisoning
  • Poorly Fitting Dentures
  • Trauma
  • Wilson Disease


What is a stroke? See Answer

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Heart Health Newsletter

By clicking "Submit," I agree to the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. I also agree to receive emails from MedicineNet and I understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet subscriptions at any time.

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.