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You are here: Home Publications CENs Bibliography Ventral striatum and stuttering: Robust evidence from a case-control study applying DARTEL

Christian Montag, Benjamin Bleek, Martin Reuter, Thilo Müller, Bernd Weber, Jennifer Faber, and Sebastian Markett (2019)

Ventral striatum and stuttering: Robust evidence from a case-control study applying DARTEL

NeuroImage: Clinical, 23:101890--101890.

A prominent theory of developmental stuttering highlights (dys-)function of the basal ganglia (and in particular the ventral striatum) as a main neural mechanism behind this speech disorder. Although the theory is intriguing, studies on gray matter volume differences in the basal ganglia between people who stutter and control persons have reported heterogeneous findings, either showing more or less gray matter volume of the aforementioned brain structure across the brain's hemispheres. Moreover, some studies did not observe any differences at all. From today's perspective several of the earlier studies are rather underpowered and also used less powerful statistical approaches to investigate differences in brain structure between people who stutter and controls. Therefore, the present study contrasted a comparably larger sample of n = 36 people who stutter with n = 34 control persons and applied the state of the art DARTEL algorithm (Diffeomorphic Anatomical Registration Through Exponentiated Lie algebra) to analyze the available brain data. In the present data set stuttering was associated with higher gray matter volume of the right caudate and putamen region of the basal ganglia in patients. Our observation strongly supports a recent finding reporting a larger nucleus accumbens in the right hemisphere in people who stutter when compared to control persons. The present findings are discussed in the context of both compensatory effects of the brain and putative therapeutic effects due to treatment of stuttering.

Basal ganglia, Caudate, DARTEL, Developmental stuttering, Idiopathic stuttering, Putamen, Speech disorder, Voxel based morphometry
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