Bradilalia: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Consequences, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is an alteration that causes a slowness in the language of variable degree, caused by a lesion in the brain.

This disorder is accompanied by a decrease in the ability to modulate the tone of voice and verbal fluency.

The tone of voice can become flat and monotonous and there is great difficulty in articulating the words.

It is possible that on some occasions there is mutism to a variable degree.

Verbal understanding in bradylalia cases is maintained, the person can understand everything that is said perfectly, even if there is a slowdown in the act of speaking or the emission of language.

This type of affectation does not appear spontaneously, bradylalia can be caused by an organic or psychological pathology, or both and is common in depressive states.

Bradylalia is a symptom and indicator of neuronal damage rather than a disorder per se.

Causes of bradylalia

Bradylalia occurs because of a brain injury that occurs specifically in those areas of the brain that are linked to speech or language production.

Bradylalia is caused by strokes, head injuries, neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s).

There are other circumstances, such as psychotic patients with negative symptoms, that produce cognitive impairment, and that can generate bradylalia.

Bradylalia has also been observed in some cases of poisoning and poisoning, affecting the nervous system.

It has been reported in patients suffering from brain infections, such as encephalitis, which have given rise to language disorders such as bradylalia.

Bradylalia is likely to be found, although to a lesser degree, in patients with psychiatric problems, such as major depression, or some other psychotic problem.

It has also been seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Symptom expression

You can compare bradylalic to a drunk person.

In most of the times, bradylalia is preceded by neurological problems acquired by accidents, or congenital.

Also due to the use of medications as in the case of depression, where the side effects of the medications affect the neurophysiological functioning of the patient.

These conditions cause the appearance of the symptom and a discontinuity is observed, which is due to an increase in the inertia of the movement of the muscles responsible for generating voice and speech.

In this type of individuals, articulatory gestures are slow and very uncoordinated, blockages in speech, stuttering, prolongation or repetition of the sounds of words, monotonous conversation and with little expressive intonation can be observed.

The continuity of the spoken message is lost due to the expansion of time and the rate of transmission, which generates a very long stretch between the beginning and the end of the message and the system of the idea of ​​the thought to be transmitted is lost.

Consequences of bradylalia

This fundamental ability, such as speech, can have serious consequences for most people with bradylalia.

The problems of people with bradylalia go beyond difficulty speaking.

Functional repercussions are frequently present at the time of holding a conversation, since difficulties are generated on a personal and social level.

It is likely that social life is diminished and it is difficult for communications to be carried out effectively, even the mental capacities of the patient may be undervalued.

At work level, great repercussions can also occur, making it difficult or preventing the fulfillment of normal activities at work.

It is very common for bradylalia to generate an alteration on an emotional level, especially if it appears accompanied by symptoms of irritability, a decrease in self-esteem, symptoms of anxiety or an increase in depression problems, especially if this symptom is caused by a psychiatric illness.

Patients with bradylalia are aware of the presence of speech difficulties.

The avoidance of any social contact is observed, a general demotivation accompanied with the loss of desire to do things, some hopelessness may also appear.

All these effects are especially frequent in those cases in which the patient does not present improvements.


The diagnosis is made by a language specialist.

Generally, bradylalia is presented accompanied by other disorders, so its diagnosis is sometimes difficult, so it is necessary that the levels of intelligence, perception, attention and literacy skills be measured during the diagnosis.

Treatment of bradylalia

Treatment for bradylalia will depend on the causes that cause it.

They generally require a long period of time to observe progress and it is not always possible to achieve a full recovery of normal speed of speech.

This is because the alteration arises from a deterioration of a part of the nervous system and can be temporary or permanent, depending on the problem that caused it.

When bradylalia was caused by poisoning or depression, recovery is likely when treatment for the condition is applied.

In the cases of cerebrovascular accidents or neurodegenerative diseases, the treatment is multidisciplinary.

Treatments may require a combination of physical therapy, strengthening of the orophonatory and respiratory muscles, speech therapy, occupational work, speech therapy, and cognitive stimulation.

When this symptom occurs in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, it is necessary to take into account their difficulties in the classroom and it is necessary to carry out curricular adaptations and individual planning as the case may be.