Orofacial Muscle Strength across the Dysarthrias

Heather M. Clark, Joseph R. Duffy, Edythe A. Strand, Holly Hanley, Nancy Pearl Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compared orofacial muscle strength between normal and dysarthric speakers and across types of dysarthria, and examined correlations between strength and dysarthria severity. Participants included 79 speakers with flaccid, spastic, mixed spastic–flaccid, ataxic, or hypokinetic dysarthria and 33 healthy controls. Maximum pressure generation (Pmax) by the tongue, lips, and cheeks represented strength. Pmax was lower for speakers with mixed spastic–flaccid dysarthria for all tongue and lip measures, as well as for speakers with flaccid or spastic dysarthria for anterior tongue elevation and lip compression. Anterior tongue elevation and cheek compression tended to be lower than normal for the hypokinetic group. Pmax did not differ significantly between controls and speakers with ataxic dysarthria on any measure. Correlations were generally weak between dysarthria severity and orofacial weakness but were stronger in the dysarthria groups with more prominent orofacial weakness. The results generally support predictions that orofacial weakness accompanies flaccid and/or spastic dysarthria but not ataxic dysarthria. The findings support including type of dysarthria as a variable of interest when examining orofacial weakness in motor speech disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number365
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Assessment
  • Dysarthria
  • Orofacial strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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