ISCA Archive

Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech

Aix-en-Provence, France
September 10-12, 2005


Improvement of Verbal Behavior after Pharmacological Treatment of Developmental Stuttering: a Case Study

Pierpaolo Busan (1), Giovanna Pelamatti (1), Alessandro Tavano (2,3), Michele Grassi (1), Franco Fabbro (2,3)

(1) Psychology Department, University of Trieste, Italy
(2) Scientific Institute ”E. Medea”, Italy
(3) University of Udine, Italy

Developmental stuttering is a disruption in normal speech fluency and rhythm. Developmental stuttering usually manifests between 6 and 9 years of age and may persist in adulthood. At present, the exact etiology of developmental stuttering is not fully clear. Besides, the dopaminergic neurological component is likely to have a causal role in the manifestation of stuttering behaviors. Actually, some studies seem to confirm the efficacy of antidopaminergic drugs (haloperidol, risperidone and olanzapine, among others) in controlling stuttering behaviors. We present a case of persistent developmental stuttering in a 24-year-old adult male who was able to control his symptoms to a significant extent after administration of risperidone, an antidopaminergic drug. Our findings show that the pharmacological intervention helped the patient improve on a set of fluency tasks but especially when the tasks involved the uttering of content words. Our results are discussed against the current theories on the cognitive and neurological basis of developmental stuttering.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Busan, Pierpaolo / Pelamatti, Giovanna / Tavano, Alessandro / Grassi, Michele / Fabbro, Franco (2005): "Improvement of verbal behavior after pharmacological treatment of developmental stuttering: a case study", In DiSS-2005, 39-42.