The Science of Stuttering

VP Biden: Portrait shoot by Andrew "Andy" Cutraro. 459 EEOB Studio

Credit: White House

Stuttering is a speech disorder that’s affected some very famous people, including King George VI, actress Marilyn Monroe, and, believe it or not, even Vice President Joe Biden.

About 5% of children stutter, but many like the Vice President outgrow the disorder.

About 1% of adults stutter. That’s about 3 million people in the United States and 60 million worldwide.

Until recently, the cause of most stuttering was a mystery. However, researchers at the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders have identified several genes involved in inherited forms of stuttering and are busy looking for additional clues that may open new avenues for treatment. Find out more about what science is doing to help.

3 thoughts on “The Science of Stuttering

  1. Whaoh! This is great… I perceive we can’t make speech sounds without muscle movements, breathing, phonation, lips, brain and the rest… But I have never thought of the possible cause of stuttering until I came across this!

  2. It’s exciting to see the groundbreaking work that Dr. Dennis Drayna and others at the NIH are doing.

  3. I think the science of stuttering in the future will be identifying a greater number of stuttering genes. In their Celebrity Corner section, the Stuttering Foundation [web site] has in-depth articles on Lewis Carroll as well as brothers Dominick and John Gregory Dunne.

    Lewis Carroll was the child of two first cousins who married; the couple had eleven children, nine of whom stuttered past childhood. Famous writers John Gregory Dunne and Dominick Dunne had a third brother who stuttered. Three of the six Dunne kids stuttered.

    So many other people on the Stuttering Foundation’s list of “Famous People Who Stutter” have people who stutter in their families. For example, they have an article on B.B. King, too.

    I predict that in the near future the majority of cases of stuttering will have a proven genetic link.

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