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Investigation of the cardiac autonomic regulation in individuals with persistent developmental stuttering

Grant number: 14/19442-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Speech Therapy
Principal Investigator:Vitor Engrácia Valenti
Grantee:Marcela Leme Nogueira
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências (FFC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Marília. Marília , SP, Brazil


The interaction between the autonomic nervous system and the speech has already been revealed in the literature, given the fact that the breathing pattern, which is influenced by speech, is involved in alteration of heart rate variability (HRV). However, it is unclear whether the cardiac autonomic control is associated with stuttering. Objective: To analyze the association between cardiac autonomic modulation and stuttering. Method: The study will be conducted in 20 patients of both genders between 6-11 years old divided into two groups: 1) 15 individuals with persistent developmental stuttering 2) 15 fluent individuals, matched for age and gender. First it will be performed the analysis of the individuals flow and then the speech samples will be transcribed up to 200 fluent syllables, considering the fluent and non-fluent syllables. The types of disfluencies will be held according to the criterion of Yairi and Ambrose (1992): typical disfluencies of stuttering: repetition of the word, repetition of monosyllabic, word lock and prolongation of sound; Other disfluencies: no monosyllabic word, phrase repetition, interjection, revision and incomplete sentence. Total percent of disfluency percentage, disfluencies typical percentage of stuttering and other disfluencies: To characterize the frequency of breaks, the following measures will be used. The speech rate is obtained by measuring the flow of syllables and words per minute (SPM and PPM). For the measures of the total spent for each speech sample time will be timed and the calculations will be performed for the flow of syllables and words per minute. Linear, nonlinear and geometric indices of HRV will be analyzed. The assessment protocol will be based on the record at seated rest for 10 minutes and the indices will be correlated with speech rate, temporal pattern.

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