Intervention for dysarthria associated with acquired brain injury in children and adolescents (Protocol)

Healthy Development [Theme], Language & Literacy, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3052.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 6.03). 01/2008; 3(3):CD006279. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006279.pub2
Source: PubMed


The term 'acquired brain injury' (ABI) incorporates a range of aetiologies including cerebrovascular accident, brain tumour and traumatic brain injury. ABI is a common cause of disability in the paediatric population, and dysarthria is a common and often persistent sequelae associated with ABI in children.
To assess the efficacy of intervention delivered by Speech and Language Pathologists/Therapists targeting dysarthric speech in children resulting from acquired brain injury.
We searched CENTRAL (Issue 4, 2006), MEDLINE (1966 to 02/2007), CINAHL (1982 to 02/2007), EMBASE (1980 to 02/2007), ERIC (1965 to 02/2007), Linguistics Abstracts Online (1985 to 02/07), PsycINFO (1872 to 02/2007). Additional references were also sought from reference lists studies.
The review considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental design studies of children aged 3-16 years with acquired dysarthria grouped by aetiology (e.g., brain tumour, traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular accident).
Each author independently assessed the titles and abstracts for relevance (100% inter-rater reliability) and the full text version of all potentially relevant articles was obtained. No studies met inclusion criteria.
Of 2091 titles and abstracts identified, full text versions of only three (Morgan 2007; Murdoch 1999; Netsell 2001) were obtained. 2088 were excluded, largely on the basis of not including dysarthria, being diagnostic or descriptive papers, and for concerning adults rather than children. Morgan 2007 and Murdoch 1999 were excluded for not employing RCT or quasi-randomised methodology; Netsell 2001 on the basis of being a theoretical review paper, rather than an intervention study. Five references were identified and obtained from the bibliography of the Murdoch 1999 paper. All were excluded due to including populations without ABI, adults with dysarthria, or inappropriate design. Thus, no studies met inclusion criteria.
The review demonstrates a critical lack of studies, let alone RCTs, addressing treatment efficacy for dysarthria in children with ABI. Possible reasons to explain this lack of data include i) a lack of understanding of the characteristics or natural history of dysarthria associated with this population; ii) the lack of a diagnostic classification system for children precluding the development of well targeted intervention programs; and iii) the heterogeneity of both the aetiologies and resultant possible dysarthria types of paediatric ABI. Efforts should first be directed at modest well-controlled studies to identify likely efficacious treatments that may then be trialed in multi-centre collaborations using quasi-randomised or RCT methodology.

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    • "As regards the clinical effectiveness of treatment , whilst case studies do suggest that change in speech function is possible following treatment for acquired dysarthria in childhood ( Morgan et al . , 2007 ; Murdoch , Pitt , Theodoros , & Ward , 1999 ) , there is no high level evidence available to suggest that treatment is effective ( Morgan & Vogel , 2008 ) . Future studies should deter - mine whether participants had considered treatment , and explore the child and families ' perspective on the impact of their dysarthria on everyday functioning and quality of life . "
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    ABSTRACT: Dysarthria following surgical resection of childhood posterior fossa tumour (PFT) is most commonly documented in a select group of participants with mutism in the acute recovery phase, thus limiting knowledge of post-operative prognosis for this population of children as a whole. Here we report on the speech characteristics of 13 cases seen long-term after surgical treatment for childhood PFT, unselected for the presence of post-operative mutism (mean time post-surgery=6y10m, range 1;4-12;6 years, two had post-operative mutism), and examine factors affecting outcome. Twenty-six age- and sex- matched healthy controls were recruited for comparison. Participants in both groups had speech assessments using detailed perceptual and acoustic methods. Over two-thirds of the group (69%) with removal of PFT had a profile of typically mild dysarthria. Prominent speech deficits included consonant imprecision, reduced rate, monopitch and monoloudness. We conclude that speech deficits may persist even up to 10 years post-surgery in participants who have not shown mutism in the acute phase. Of cases with unilateral lesions, poorer outcomes were associated with right cerebellar tumours compared to left, consistent with the notion based on adult data that speech is controlled by reciprocal right cerebellar/left frontal interactions. These results confirm the important role of the cerebellum in the control of fine speech movements in children.
    Brain and Language 02/2011; 117(2):69-76. DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2011.01.002 · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    • "SLT input was variable for each patient, but occurred no more intensively than one session per week or fortnight. It should be noted that there is currently no high level evidence available to support the efficacy of any dysarthria treatments in children (Morgan & Vogel, 2008, 2009; Pennington, Miller, & Robson, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Hemispherectomy (disconnection or removal of an entire cerebral hemisphere) is a rare surgical procedure used for the relief of drug-resistant epilepsy in children. After hemispherectomy, contralateral hemiplegia persists whereas gross expressive and receptive language functions can be remarkably spared. Motor speech deficits have rarely been examined systematically, thus limiting the accuracy of postoperative prognosis. We describe the speech profiles of hemispherectomized participants characterizing their intelligibility, articulation, phonological speech errors, dysarthric features, and execution and sequencing of orofacial speech and non-speech movements. Thirteen participants who had undergone hemispherectomy (six left, seven right; nine with congenital, four with acquired hemiplegia; operated between four months and 13 years) were investigated. Results showed that all participants were intelligible but showed a mild dysarthric profile characterized by neuromuscular asymmetry and reduced quality and coordination of movements, features that are characteristic of adult-onset unilateral upper motor neuron dysarthria, flaccid-ataxic variant. In addition, one left and four right hemispherectomy cases presented with impaired production of speech and non-speech sequences. No participant showed evidence of verbal or oral dyspraxia. It is concluded that mild dysarthria is persistent after left or right hemispherectomy, irrespective of age at onset of hemiplegia. These results indicate incomplete functional re-organization for the control of fine speech motor movements throughout childhood, and provide no evidence of hemispheric differences.
    Brain and Language 08/2010; 114(2):126-34. DOI:10.1016/j.bandl.2009.12.004 · 3.22 Impact Factor
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