Childhood Speech Disorder Apraxia: Underlying Brain Pathway Identified

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Angela Morgan PhDNHMRC Practitioner Fellow and Leads the Speech and Language GroupMurdoch Children's Research Institute

Prof. Morgan

Prof. Angela Morgan PhD
NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and
Leads the Speech and Language Group
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Approximately 5% of school-aged children have a communication impairment that affects speech, language, or both. There are many subtypes of speech sound disorders, but the most severe is  (CAS), which impacts sequencing of speech movements. Childhood apraxia of speech  occurs in around 1 in 1000 children. In persistent cases of CAS, speech cannot easily be understood throughout life. Although CAS is rare, unravelling its neurobiological causes is likely to identify brain networks crucial to more common and less severe forms of speech disorders.

Here we provide comprehensive speech and neuroimaging data on a large novel family where one parent and 11 children presented with features of childhood apraxia of speech. Brain MRI scanning revealed changes in core parts of the brain responsible for speech production. Even though CAS manifests as a problem with talking, we found disruptions in an underlying pathway of the brain normally associated with language (the meaning and grammar of what we say), rather than speech production. Our findings identify disruption of the dorsal language stream as a novel finding in developmental speech disorders. Overall, our data confirm the early role of this stream in auditory-to-articulation transformations.  Continue reading

Scabies: For Community Control, Exam of Just Arms and Legs May Be Sufficient

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael Marks MRCP DTM&H PhD
Clinical Research Department, Faculty of Infectious & Tropical Diseases
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Hospital for Tropical Diseases
London, United Kingdom
Twitter @dr_michaelmarks
Daniel Engelman MBBS; BMedSci; MPHTM; FRACP; PhD
Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne,
Tropical Diseases Research Group
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Melbourne, Australia
Twitter @Dan_Engelman

The lateral aspect of the left hand depicted here, reveals the presence of papules due to an infestation of the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, in a case of what is commonly referred to as scabies.

The lateral aspect of the left hand depicted here, reveals the presence of papules due to an infestation of the human itch mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, in a case of what is commonly referred to as scabies.CDC image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

MM: Scabies is extremely common. Globally in the region of 100-200 million people are believed to be affected by scabies annually.

Recently the WHO has recognised Scabies as a ‘Neglected Tropical Disease’ in response to this burden of disease. There has been increasing interest in using Mass Drug Administration (treating whole communities) as a strategy to control scabies in communities. In order to make this practical countries need an easy mechanism for establishing if scabies is a significant problem in their communities. In general when treating an individual, clinicians would conduct a full body examination to diagnose scabies – however this may not be practical or necessary when making decisions about whether to treat whole communities.

DE: Despite the fact that Scabies is a very common condition that causes a great deal of health problems, it has been largely neglected by health, research and funding agencies – but pleasingly, the WHO has now started to take action on scabies control, starting with the recognition of scabies as a “Neglected Tropical Disease”

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