What Are the Causes of Slurred Speech?

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Dysarthria, a condition that results in slurred, slowed or otherwise difficult to comprehend speech, may be caused by a number of factors including alcohol intoxication, stroke, dementia or Parkinson's disease. Other degenerative and neurological disorders are known to cause dysarthria also, in addition to certain medications, according to Mayo Clinic.

Traumatic brain injury and brain tumors are also causes of dysarthria. Slurred speech is the result of weakened or uncoordinated muscles within the throat or mouth. All of the aforementioned ailments can cause these types of speech impairment and muscular issues, states Mayo Clinic.

Neuromuscular diseases, which affect the nervous system and the muscles, are often causes of dysarthria. Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis are all known to cause dysarthria. Additionally, face or neck trauma or surgery affecting the tongue or voice box may also cause slurred speech, according to MedlinePlus.

People affected by dysarthria may exhibit symptoms such as mumbling, whispering, sounding nasal, hoarse or breathy. Drugs that affect the central nervous system, such as alcohol or narcotics, sometimes cause dysarthria, states MedlinePlus.

Anxiety attacks can also cause slurred speech, according to Calm Clinic. Overactive thoughts, muscle tension and anti-anxiety medications may play a role in dysarthria associated with anxiety.