MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 10 The mystery behind a complex disorder called stuttering became a little clearer today with the announcement of the discovery of three genes for stuttering by Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., a director of the Stuttering Foundation and researcher for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
"This research is important because it's another indication that emotional factors such as anxiety or 'bad parenting' do not cause stuttering. It could also point the way for a cure one day," says Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.
"We hear every day from parents worried that they have caused their child's stuttering. Parents don't cause stuttering, and this research should lift the burden of guilt from their shoulders," Fraser noted. "But because a cure may be years away, speech therapy and early intervention with young children remain the best option for now."
"We have long known that stuttering runs in families," says Fraser. "We want to emphasize that a genetic predisposition for stuttering does not mean a person will have a lifelong problem. Early treatment in young children can effectively prevent stuttering."
Developing an understanding of the biological basis of stuttering may someday lead to better early diagnosis, differential treatments for people with genetic indicators, and a better understanding of how speech production happens differently for people who stutter. Although Dr. Drayna notes that his findings are unlikely to have any immediate impact on treatment, they nonetheless represent a giant step forward.
-- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders' PRESS RELEASE -- Stuttering Foundation's PRESS ROOM
SOURCE Stuttering Foundation of America, Memphis, Tenn.