White matter tract strength correlates with therapy outcome in persistent developmental stuttering

2022 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

Jump to: Cite & Linked | Documents & Media | Details | Version history

Cite this publication

​White matter tract strength correlates with therapy outcome in persistent developmental stuttering​
Neef, N. E. ; Korzeczek, A.; Primaßin, A. ; Wolff von Gudenberg, A.; Dechent, P. ; Riedel, C. H. & Paulus, W.  et al.​ (2022) 
Human Brain Mapping,.​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25853 

Documents & Media

Main article2.22 MBAdobe PDF


Neef, Nicole E. ; Korzeczek, Alexandra; Primaßin, Annika ; Wolff von Gudenberg, Alexander; Dechent, Peter ; Riedel, Christian Heiner; Paulus, Walter ; Sommer, Martin 
Persistent stuttering is a prevalent neurodevelopmental speech disorder, which presents with involuntary speech blocks, sound and syllable repetitions, and sound prolongations. Affected individuals often struggle with negative feelings, elevated anxiety, and low self-esteem. Neuroimaging studies frequently link persistent stuttering with cortical alterations and dysfunctional cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical loops; dMRI data also point toward connectivity changes of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and the frontal aslant tract (FAT). Both tracts are involved in speech and language functions, and the FAT also supports inhibitory control and conflict monitoring. Whether the two tracts are involved in therapy-associated improvements and how they relate to therapeutic outcomes is currently unknown. Here, we analyzed dMRI data of 22 patients who participated in a fluency-shaping program, 18 patients not participating in therapy, and 27 fluent control participants, measured 1 year apart. We used diffusion tractography to segment the SLF and FAT bilaterally and to quantify their microstructural properties before and after a fluency-shaping program. Participants learned to speak with soft articulation, pitch, and voicing during a 2-week on-site boot camp and computer-assisted biofeedback-based daily training for 1 year. Therapy had no impact on the microstructural properties of the two tracts. Yet, after therapy, stuttering severity correlated positively with left SLF fractional anisotropy, whereas relief from the social–emotional burden to stutter correlated negatively with right FAT fractional anisotropy. Thus, posttreatment, speech motor performance relates to the left dorsal stream, while the experience of the adverse impact of stuttering relates to the structure recently associated with conflict monitoring and action inhibition.
Issue Date
Human Brain Mapping 
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2022



Social Media