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How does multiple sclerosis affect speech?

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you may be aware of subtle changes to your speech. Do people ever ask you to repeat yourself? If so, you may be experiencing something called dysarthria. Dysarthria is a term used to describe a group of speech disturbances related to muscular control in the speech mechanism. It’s due to damage to the nervous system.

There are many different types of dysarthria, but for individuals with MS, the most often impacted areas are speed, strength, range of motion and accuracy of speech movements. Perceptually, your voice may sound weak, you may have reduced vocal volume, reduced breath support, reduced endurance and fatigue when communicating, reduced inflection in your voice and/or slurring of speech sounds and syllables.

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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.