A medicine to cure stammering could be developed from the findings of a psychiatrist of University of California.
Stuttering afflicts an estimated 3 million Americans. Dr. Gerald Maguire of the UC-Irvine, who stuttered as a child, is supporting the Indevus Pharmaceuticals in the effort to find a cure. The largest clinical trial of a drug for stuttering gave hopeful results, according to the company. However, even larger trials were needed.
According to New York Times, larger trials could take 2-3 years but if they succeed, Pagoclone would become the first medicine for treating the problem.
Research is concentrating on the idea that stammering is a neurological problem, which is partly genetic. Earlier, it was thought to be a nervous or emotional condition. Researchers using brain scans, DNA studies and other mordern techniques are conducting detailed studies. The brains of people who stutter behave differently from those of people who don't when it comes to processing speech. According to a researcher from Toronto, those who don't stutter, speech processing is largely handled in the brain's left hemisphere while for those who do, there is an unusually large amount of activity in the brain's right hemisphere.
The study conducted by Macguire and others reveal that there is an excess of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brains of those who stammer. However, much has to be learnt about the causes and cure.