Functional-Lesion Investigation of Developmental Stuttering With Positron Emission Tomography Positron emission tomographic (PET) H215O measurements of resting-state regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) were obtained in 29 right-handed men, 10 of whom stuttered and 19 of whom did not. PET images were analyzed by sampling 74 regions of interest (ROIs), 37 per hemisphere. ROI placement was guided both physiologically and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1996
Functional-Lesion Investigation of Developmental Stuttering With Positron Emission Tomography
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Roger J. Ingham
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Peter T. Fox
    Research Imaging Center University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • Janis C. Ingham
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Frank Zamarripa
    Research Imaging Center University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • Charles Martin
    Research Imaging Center University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • Paul Jerabek
    Research Imaging Center University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
  • John Cotton
    Department of Psychology University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Contact author: Peter T. Fox, MD, Research Imaging Center, University of Texas Health Science Center, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78284-6240. Email: fox@uthscsa.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1996
Functional-Lesion Investigation of Developmental Stuttering With Positron Emission Tomography
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1208-1227. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1208
History: Received February 15, 1996 , Accepted July 31, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1996, Vol. 39, 1208-1227. doi:10.1044/jshr.3906.1208
History: Received February 15, 1996; Accepted July 31, 1996

Positron emission tomographic (PET) H215O measurements of resting-state regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) were obtained in 29 right-handed men, 10 of whom stuttered and 19 of whom did not. PET images were analyzed by sampling 74 regions of interest (ROIs), 37 per hemisphere. ROI placement was guided both physiologically and anatomically. Physiological ROI placement was based on speech motor activations. Anatomical ROIs were positioned by reference to a stereotactic, neurosurgical atlas with positions confirmed and finely adjusted by co-registered magnetic-resonance images (MRIs). For all subjects, PET and MR images were normal to visual inspection. Highly significant (p < 0.0001) between-region and between-hemisphere effects were found for both groups, as have been previously reported for normal subjects, but no significant between-group differences were found for any regional CBF values. Analysis by a laterality index found a weakly significant between-groups effect (p=0.04) that was isolated to five regions, four of which are implicated in speech or hearing. However, these regional laterality effects showed no consistent directionality, nor did these regions have absolute differences in regional blood flow between groups. Present findings do not support recent suggestions that developmental stuttering is associated with abnormalities of brain blood flow at rest. Rather, our findings indicate an essentially normal functional brain terrain with a small number of minor differences in hemispheric symmetry.

Acknowledgments
Senior authorship is shared between the first two authors. The authors thank several colleagues whose contributions were fundamental to the success of this study: Barbara Alkek and Karen Myers for recruiting and screening the subjects who stuttered; Betty Heyl, Ralph Evans, and Traci Hirsch for assistance in image acquisition; Jack Lancaster, Thomas Glass, and J. Hunter Downs for developing the software used for image analysis; Mario Liotti and Peter Frank for expert assistance with statistical analyses of the data. This study was supported in part by research grant number 5 R01 DC 00060 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, awarded to the first author.
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