Movement disorders; does
stuttering belong here?
Dave Rowley, De Montfort University: Leicester, UK
Suzana Jelčić Jakšić, Children’s Hospital, Zagreb,
Croatia
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Hey all, Towards the middle of last year I
started stuttering when talking. I figured it
was a growing pain so I shrugged it off and
thought it would work itself out eventually
but............ It's a new year and the darn
stutters are still here. When I practice on my
own it's not there. I'm relaxed, the talking
seems smooth and I sound fine. When it
comes to the real thing though it gets all
FU#$^D up. I dread speaking in some
situations.
HELP!!!!!!
Personal comment
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Hey all, Towards the middle of last season I
started getting the yips when chipping. I figured
it was a growing pain so I shrugged it off and
thought it would work itself out eventually
but............ It's a new season and the darn yips
are still here. The only problem is, is that when I
practice it's not there. I'm relaxed, the stroke
seems smooth and the ball tracks to the hole
well. When it comes to game time though it gets
all FU#$^D up. I dread not hitting the greens
now on par threes. Any help will do, I wanna
break 80 and this is where I need to improve to
do it. HELP!!!!!!
Personal comment: The Yips
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This syndrome is characterized by an inability
to appropriately complete a golf stroke, most
often putting and chipping strokes. Most
individuals with the yips describe a jerking or
shaking movement that interrupts their
swing. In many cases the yips are disabling
and the golfer, including professional tour
players, give up golfing. The etiology is
poorly understood and scientific study of the
yips has been minimal. (Charles H. Adler,
Mayo Clinic)
The Yips: Definition
The Yips: Video
Bernhard Langer
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I've personally been through it. It was the most painful
experience of my life. Not that it was physically painful but
more soulfully. See can you imagine not being able to do
something you really love doing and try hard at. Well,
that's how i felt. To the point where tears would roll down
my cheeks and I'd feel disappointment with myself every
night driving back home thinking where did I go wrong.
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Stuttering in my opinion is a mental condition. You are
asking your body to do something that it can’t or refuses to
do. Talking on the other hand is where your body memory
is constantly in use and your mind and mouth work
mutually. Put two and two together it is basically telling
you that you are forcing yourself to do something that your
mouth doesn't want to do. Thus, your mind is not allowing
your mouth to speak.
Personal comment

I've personally been through it. It was the most painful
experience of my life. Not that it was physically painful but
more soulfully. See can you imagine not being able to do
something you really love doing and try hard at. Well,
that's how i felt. To the point where tears would roll down
my cheeks and I'd feel disappointment with myself every
night driving back home thinking where did i go wrong.

Dartitis in my opinion is a mental condition. You are asking
your body to do something that it can’t or refuses to do.
Darts on the other hand is a game where your body
memory is constantly in use and your mind and hand work
mutually. Put two and two together it is basically telling
you that you are forcing your hand to do something that it
doesn't want to do. Thus, your mind is not allowing your
hand to release the dart.
Personal comment: Dartitis
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A state of nervousness which prevents a
player from releasing a dart at the right
moment when throwing.
Dartitis: Definition
Dartitis: Video
Eric Bristow (WC 80, 81, 84-6)
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Burn (2006) argues that The Yips and
Dartitis are examples of focal dystonia.
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He defines a focal dystonia as:
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‘An abnormal movement characterised by
sustained muscle contraction, frequently
causing twisting and repetitive
movements or abnormal postures’.
Focal dystonia
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Adler (2010) sees The Yips as a form of
task specific focal dystonia.
Task specific focal dystonia
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In a survey of 2,630 advanced golfers
(handicap <12) a total of 1,031 (39%)
golfers (986 men and 45 women)
responded, and 541 (52%) reported
experiencing the yips. (Smith, et al. 2000)
Prevalence of The Yips
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Stinear, Coxon, Fleming, Lim, Prapavessis
& Byblow (2006)
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This study provides evidence in support of
two The Yips subtypes. Type I is related to
impaired movement initiation and
execution, whereas Type II is related to
performance anxiety.
Subtypes in the Yips
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In both stuttering and The Yips there is a
degree of performance/state anxiety.
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Menzies et al. (2008) found that about
60% of adults who stutter received a
blinded diagnosis of social phobia.
Anxiety & stuttering
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Stuttering is a task specific disorder—that is,
oral-motor dysfunction becomes apparent only
during speech and not during humming, singing
or chewing.
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Stuttering may reflect an instability or loss of
control in brain function rather than a loss of
function — which makes stuttering similar to
some other motor control disorders such as
tremor, dystonia or Gilles de la Tourette’s
syndrome (TS)
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(Ludlow & Loucks, 2003).
Stuttering as a task specific
disorder
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The emerging picture is of a complex loop
of brain centers integrating perception,
emotion, and movement that is subject to
disruption at varying points with resulting
movement deficits that can be quite
similar. (Mangum, 2004).
The Yips
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Could it be that anxiety in a stutterer (limbic
system) through the intervention of the
hippocampus (feed forward loop and learning)
provokes a temporary dysfunction in the
dopamine transmitter from the substantia nigra,
which provokes a temporary imbalance in the
basal ganglia which result in a temporary loss of
inhibitory control which provokes stuttering and
other involuntary movements. In other words, is
it possible to integrate these three elements and
thus relate anxiety to the physiologic factors in
Stuttering? (Bijleveld, 1992).
The role of the basal ganglia
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Focal hand dystonia has been linked with
basal ganglia dysfunction in the "release"
of prepotent motor programs by inhibition
of inhibition.
The role of the basal ganglia
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Current neuroscience distinguishes
"defensive avoidance" in the amygdala
circuitry from "defensive approach" in the
septo-hippocampal circuitry. The former is
related to fear, panic, phobia, and flight
behavior, and the latter to generalized
anxiety and dread or "anticipatory
frustration" (Gray and McNaughton, 2000;
LeDoux, 1992; LeDoux, 1996).
Amygdala and septo-hippocampal
circuitry
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The septo-hippocampal network mediates
dread and anticipatory frustration and
generates hesitation and vacillation
behaviors.
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This may be worth investigating in PWS
The septo-hippocampal network
We were initially interested in the link
between problems involving taking action
(e.g. joining traffic on a roundabout) and
stuttering-like behaviour in trumpet
players.
However in the end we chose to focus on
stuttering, and two sports related
movement disorders: the yips and
dartitis.
Conclusion
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We have shown there to be a number of
similarities between stuttering and movement
disorders
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Stuttering is different in one major sense,
however, it is preventing communication, which
we think people would agree is much more
important in the quality of life than golf or darts
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Nevertheless, highlighting these similarities
through personal experiences as well as through
an examination of the scientific literature in each
field may help us to think about different
approaches to the understanding of stuttering.
Conclusion