Dysarthria without postoperative mutism following resection of a cerebellar astrocytoma: pattern of resolution in a single case
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The development of motor speech impairment is a frequently reported sequela of surgery for cerebellar tumors that often resolves to normal speech within 6 months. In many of the reported cases to date dysarthria has been preceded by a period of postoperative mutism; however, the current case details the development of transient dysarthria without postoperative mutism following resection of a cerebellar tumor in a 16-year-old boy (TN). The speech profiles included results from perceptual speech assessments and examinations of motor speech function. A mild-moderate dysarthria was evident at 2 weeks postsurgery, resolving to mild dysarthria at 2 months and normal speech at 6 and 12 months postsurgery. Deviant perceptual speech present at 2 weeks postsurgery included all areas of speech production (respiration, phonation, resonance, articulation, and prosody), with a mild reduction in speech intelligibility. Difficulties in sequencing and coordinating nonspeech and speech movements were found to contribute to TN's dysarthria. The resolution of the dysarthria coincided with improvements in these deficits. This case documents that dysarthria after resection of a posterior fossa tumor can develop independent of a period of mutism and furthermore that the dysarthria may be transient, but further research into the mechanisms of recovery is required.
Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology
Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified