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    Is slurred speech a symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

Posted on Mon, 31 Jul 2017 in Headache and Migraines
Question: Hi - I have a question re my partner. He is male and 55 years old and appears to be in very good health. Last Tuesday, he came home from work and his speech was different, like a very slight slur/mumble with some words. He is talking at the same speed and voice doesn't sound nasally or hoarse. It was intermittent and not constant. I asked him about it and he said that he had bitten his tongue a couple of times during the day and not to worry about it. He has been complaining of a dry mouth also which he says is affecting his speech. Since Tuesday his speech has still been a bit off on on - sometimes he can't say a word then he can repeat the same word fine. No swallowing, breathing, eating issues. I am a natural worrier so I have jumped to the conclusion that this is early bulbar ALS. Does it sound like this?
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
ALS shows other symptoms besides slurred speech.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for using HealthcareMagic.

I have read your question and understand your concerns.

Early symptoms of ALS include difficulty walking and doing everyday activities, weakness of hands, feet, ankles, difficulty swallowing, muscles spasms and twitching in arms, shoulders, not just slurred speech.

So, in my opinion, ALS is very unlikely.

However, in the other hand, slurred speech or dysarthria should be investigated further and as the first step a neurological examination by your partner's Neurologist together with brain imaging ( MRI ) is necessary.

Hope you found the answer helpful.

Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Erion Spaho 42 minutes later
Thank you for your response. My main worry is bulbar als. From your experience would he have other symptoms apart from intermittent speech issues? He was perfectly fine in the morning - would it come on that suddenly or is it more gradual?
Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
ALS shows a gradually course.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome back.

One symptom is not indicative of ALS, other symptoms should be present to suspect it.

Sudden onset. of neurological symptom(s) is more typical for acute conditions such stroke, TIA, blood pressure problems.

ALS is a progressive disease.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
Answered by
Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3863 Questions


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