Anartria: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Types and Treatment

With the appearance of this pathology, the individual loses the ability to vocalize words.

Anartria manifests as a language disorder or inability to speak due to damage to motor nerves that fail to perform their function in order to articulate speech phonemes.

A part of the brain maintains control over the larynx or the voice box.

When this part of the brain is damaged due to injury or any other factor, it causes problems of the neuromuscular apparatus, which provides the articulatory component.

Which makes possible the production of spoken sounds with the help of the buccofacial musculature; from the larynx, the pharynx, the tongue, the throat, the teeth and soft palate, the cheeks, the muscles of speech and voice.

They become very weak so they stop producing logical and clear speech sounds.

Anartria is often an advanced condition of Broca’s aphasia, which is a disorder of oral and written communication, but in the case of anarthria it is presented only as the inability to articulate sounds.

Causes

The causes of anarthria may be due to any process or disease that may occur in the cerebellum, the posterior parts of the frontal lobe, the brainstem, the conductive pathways that connect these areas with other parts of the brain and that break the structure or irritate the subcortical ganglia.

Among the most common causes we have:

  • Acute or chronic disorder of the cerebral circulation.
  • A stroke or hemorrhage in the brain.
  • Abscess in the brain or cerebellum .
  • Brain injury caused by trauma.
  • Tumors of the brain or cerebellum.
  • Demyelinating diseases, which are accompanied by the decomposition of myelin such as: disseminated encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis.
  • Poisoning with poisons such as heavy metal salts.
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  • Syringobulbia, which is a disease characterized by the formation of pathological cavities in the brain stem that interrupt the conduction of nerve impulses.
  • Botulism .
  • The Fazio-Londe syndrome which is a progressive hereditary disease that manifests itself in adolescence as a dysarthria, due to a problem in swallowing.
  • Infections

symptom

Among the symptoms that can occur we have:

  • Drag words when speaking all words with a stammer, great difficulty, as in the nose.
  • Decrease in the ability to pronounce letters, words and, sometimes, even sounds. In addition there are changes in the timbre of the voice, hoarseness and choppy voice is observed.
  • There is limited mobility of the tongue, lips, jaw, drooling or poor control of saliva and difficulty in chewing and swallowing.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of anartria includes:

  • Compilation and analysis of symptoms: speech disorders, thinning of the muscles of the tongue, inability to pronounce words, letters, and verification of the presence of similar symptoms in the patient’s family history.
  • Neurological examination : examination of the pharyngeal, mandibular reflexes, examination of the pharynx, detection of possible atrophy (thinning) of the muscles of the tongue, weakness of the facial muscles, asymmetry of the face.
  • Inspection by an otolaryngologist: examination of the pharynx, nose and laryngeal cavity to reveal pathological processes that are able to modify the pronunciation of the words as a trauma or tumor.
  • Survey conducted by a speech therapist: including evaluation of the presence of changes in the timbre and the rhythm of speech, difficulties in the pronunciation of any sound.
  • Computed tomography, magnetic resonance of the head: that allows to study the structure of the brain layer by layer, to identify the cause of the anarthria, checking if there are, foci of circulatory disorders, abscesses, tumors, foci of the main protein of myelin.

Types

The classification of Anartria depends on the location of the nervous system lesion:

  • Flaccid:  with lesions of the glossopharyngeal, sublingual, vagus nerves and their nuclei, disorders of neuromuscular transmission.
  • Spastic: caused by bilateral central paralysis or paresis of muscles innervated by the wandering, sublingual and glossopharyngeal nerves due to bilateral damage to the corticospinal tracts and anterior central convolutions (it is a component of the pseudobulbar syndrome).
  • Unilateral monotoneural superior: it is caused mainly by unilateral central paralysis or paresis of muscles innervated by wandering, sublingual, glossopharyngeal nerves, occurs as a result of unilateral damage to the cortico-nuclear pathways and the frontal central gyrus.
  • Ataxic: is caused by problems in the conductive pathways of the cerebellum.
  • Hyperkinetic: is a type of extrapyramidal dysarthria that develops in the defeat of the subcortical ganglia, their neuronal connections.
  • Hypokinetic: is a type of extrapyramidal dysarthria that occurs when the subcortical nodes, their nerve connections are damaged.
  • Mixed: includes two or more types.

Treatment

The treatment of anartria involves the therapy of the underlying disease that caused this speech disorder:

  • Surgical removal of the tumor, hemorrhage, abscess of the cranial cavity that caused the disorder.
  • Antibacterial therapy in case of infections.
  • Normalization of blood pressure.
  • The use of medications that improve cerebral circulation and metabolism, nootropics such as piracetam, angioprotectores.
  • Language therapies, to correct an existing defect with the help of special exercises.
  • Physiotherapy such as magnetotherapy, which is an exposure to ultra high frequency currents, and the use of acupuncture .