Research Notes

An Introduction to the Research Notes Series

The IFA Research and Publication Committee has invited a number of  experts to write an introduction to a topic with references to help explore the topic.   The authors are strongly encouraged to cover important work from other researchers as well as their own.

Each note represents the opinion of the writer, and is not intended to represent the views of the IFA, its boards or its membership as a whole.

Read more on the format of the notes below.

Read more: An Introduction to the Research Notes Series

Psychopharmacological approaches for stuttering

Gerald A. Maguire, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine

Although no medication is FDA approved for stuttering, several studies have shown certain medications to have beneficial effects on reducing the severity of stuttering symptoms. Different classes of medications have been investigated, but those with dopamine blocking activity have been shown in numerous trials to have positive effects on stuttering. These medications are FDA approved in the United States (and hold similar approval in most countries) for other conditions and their safety profiles are well established in the relevant disorders.

Read more: Psychopharmacological approaches for stuttering

Genetic factors and their action in persistent stuttering

Carlos Frigerio Domingues, Tae-Un Han, and Dennis Drayna, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 
The ability to produce fluent speech is developedand maintained to a large degree by the products of our genes; defects in genes have been repeatedly associated with stuttering.  Starting with studies in large families in which there are many cases of persistent developmental stuttering, mutations in the GNPTABGNPTGNAGPA,and AP4E1genes have been associated with this communication disorder (Kang et al, N Engl J Med, 2010, Raza et al, Am J Hum Genet, 2015.  Together, mutations in these these four genes seem to account for approximately 20% of cases of persistent stuttering in the general population (Raza et al, Eur J Hum Genet, 2015, Frigerio-Domingues and Drayna, Mol Genet Genome Med2017) . All of these genes encode components of the machinery that moves molecules to their proper location within cells, a process known as intracellular trafficking.  Deficits in various aspects of intracellular trafficking are now recognized as causative in other neurological disorders, ranging from rare disorders such as Huntington’s Disease to common disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Read more: Genetic factors and their action in persistent stuttering

Minimizing Bullying for Children Who Stutter

J. Scott Yaruss, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Children who stutter are at greater risk for experiencing bullying than children who do not stutter (e.g., Blood & Blood, 2016; Langevin, 2015), but it can be hard for them to respond given their communication difficulties. Bullying can increase the severity of stuttering behaviors, due to increased emotionality, and exacerbate the adverse impact of stuttering, including negative reactions, social isolation, and reduced self-esteem (e.g., Blood et al., 2011).

Read more: Minimizing Bullying for Children Who Stutter

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