Dysarthria: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 5/18/2017

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.


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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/18/2017

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