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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2007 Jul;11(4):193-207. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Postoperative motor speech production in children with the syndrome of 'cerebellar' mutism and subsequent dysarthria: a critical review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Linguistics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 808 route de Lennik, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Transient cerebellar mutism is a well-known clinical entity which may develop after surgery to the cerebellum. As the period of mutism is followed by motor speech deficits, the condition has also been termed the syndrome of (cerebellar) Mutism and Subsequent Dysarthria (MSD). In children, its incidence is estimated between 8% and 31%. Unfortunately, the literature provides contradictory information regarding motor speech production post-mutism. We therefore critically reviewed data on 283 childhood cases to chart the mode of recovery of motor speech production after the mute period. After applying stringent exclusion criteria, we found that 98.8% of the children displayed motor speech deficits. This percentage is much higher than commonly reported in the literature. In addition, recovery of speech appeared to be less favourable than previously ascertained. Future studies should investigate more carefully the patients' speech characteristics in order to be able to offer children an adequate and complete rehabilitation program.

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