World’s big­gest stut­ter study

NT News - - NEWS - LAU­REN ROBERTS

TER­RI­TO­RI­ANS aged seven and above with past or present ex­pe­ri­ences of stut­ter­ing are en­cour­aged to vol­un­teer for the na­tion’s largest ever Ge­net­ics of Stut­ter­ing Study.

Re­searchers from the NHMRC Cen­tre of Re­search Ex­cel­lence in Speech and Lan­guage are call­ing for 3000 Aus­tralians to take part. The study aims to pin­point genes that may cause stut­ter­ing, aid­ing fu­ture re­search into the causes, treat­ment and preven­tion of the dis­or­der.

Co-chief study in­ves­ti­ga­tor and speech pathol­o­gist Pro­fes­sor An­gela Mor­gan said across the globe, 1 per cent of adults stut­tered and nearly 70 per cent of peo­ple who stut- tered re­ported a fam­ily his­tory of the dis­or­der.

“Im­por­tantly, gen­der is one of the strong­est pre­dis­pos­ing fac­tors for stut­ter­ing,” she said.

“Boys are two-to-five times more likely to stut­ter than girls, and they are also less likely to re­cover spon­ta­neously.”

Vol­un­teers need to fill in a 10-minute on­line sur­vey and record a short sam­ple of their speech. Those who qual­ify will be in­vited to pro­vide a saliva sam­ple for DNA anal­y­sis, to help re­searchers pin­point the genes that pre­dis­pose peo­ple to stut­ter­ing. For de­tails, email ge­net­ic­sof­speech@mcri.edu.au.

Pro­fes­sor An­gela Mor­gan

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