Stuttering has been a condition that many have feared to be judged
for. Many claim its origins to be from traumas or psychological issues, however,
researchers have explored this condition more and discovered that it comes
down to genetics and brain differences.
Over 70 million people worldwide suffer from this condition.
Its traces lead back ancient China and Rome, but no accepted causes have ever
been determined until only a few years ago. Brain scans showed, “…genetic
mutations related to stuttering are associated with structural abnormalities in
the corpus callosum, a bundle of fibers that connects the two hemispheres of
the brain and ensures they can communicate; and the thalamus, a relay station
that sorts sensory information to other parts of the brain. Past research has
also linked stuttering to the basal ganglia, brain structures involved in the
coordination of movement” (Ungar, 2022).
Even with scientific evidence many people still incorrectly
believe that people stutter because they are nervous or shy and could make it
stop if they tried harder. At the present time, speech therapy is the only way
of treatment for stuttering. These discoveries may lead to medications in the
near future that can be taken to alter levels of chemicals in the brain thought
to be responsible. However, for some stuttering is a part of who they are, and
they wouldn’t want to change that.
Overall, this discovery in biology brings about it hope that
will decrease the stigma against those with this condition and allow better
opportunities for individuals to excel in areas most would consider to be impossible.
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