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How common are speech and voice disorders in people with MS?

The body of research investigating physical and sensory disorders in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) is immense, while cognitive-communication deficits associated with MS have received little attention. The lack of research for communication disorders and MS is shocking, given that between 45% and 65% of individuals living with MS experience difficulties with memory, attention, distractibility, problem-solving, word-finding and other cognitive functions as symptoms of the disease.

In addition, a variety of speech and voice disorders have been identified in individuals with MS. A research questionnaire investigating speech and communication skills associated with MS indicates that approximately 45% of respondents reported changes in speech clarity, while 33% reported impairments of voice and swallowing skills. Despite these overwhelming figures, only a small number of people with MS (2%) are appropriately referred for treatment. Understanding the different types of cognitive-communication, speech and voice difficulties associated with MS is the first step towards managing these symptoms effectively.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.