UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Recognizing Dysarthria

Keywords: dysarthria, apraxia, lacunar infarcts, pure dysarthria (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/15/2009 by Aisha Liferidge, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
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  • Dysarthria is a motor speech abnormality that commonly results from stroke and is related to focal muscular deficits in the face.
  • One of the most challenging aspects of recognizing dysarthria relates to distinguishing it from apraxia. 
  • Apraxia has nothing to do with a focal motor deficit, but rather a cortical deficit which results in an inability to optimally execute the function of the facial musculature.
  • Isolated dysarthria without other neurologic deficit, termed pure dysarthria, is rare and thought to result from multiple lacunar infarcts causing hypoperfusion of the frontal cortex.


  • Okuda, et al. "Cerebral Blood Flow in Pure Dysarthria:  Role of Frontal Cortical Hypoperfusion."  Stroke 30:  109-13. 1999.