Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from neurological injury of the motor component of the motor-speech system and is characterized by poor articulation of phonemes. Normal speech production involves the integration and coordination of five primary physiological subsystems: respiration (breath support); phonation (voice production); articulation (pronunciation of words); resonation (nasal versus oral voice quality); and prosody (rate, rhythm, and inflection patterns of speech). Any of the speech subsystems can be affected, leading to impairments in intelligibility, audibility, naturalness, and efficiency of vocal communication. Neurological injury due to damage in the central or peripheral nervous system may result in weakness, paralysis, or a lack of coordination of the motor-speech system, producing dysarthria. Dysarthria progressed to a total loss of speech is referred to as anarthria.
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