Auditory-perceptual speech analysis in children with cerebellar tumours: A long-term follow-up study
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology , Volume 16 - Issue 5 p. 434- 442
Mutism and Subsequent Dysarthria (MSD) and the Posterior Fossa Syndrome (PFS) have become well-recognized clinical entities which may develop after resection of cerebellar tumours. However, speech characteristics following a period of mutism have not been documented in much detail. This study carried out a perceptual speech analysis in 24 children and adolescents (of whom 12 became mute in the immediate postoperative phase) 1-12.2 years after cerebellar tumour resection. The most prominent speech deficits in this study were distorted vowels, slow rate, voice tremor, and monopitch. Factors influencing long-term speech disturbances are presence or absence of postoperative PFS, the localisation of the surgical lesion and the type of adjuvant treatment. Long-term speech deficits may be present up to 12 years post-surgery. The speech deficits found in children and adolescents with cerebellar lesions following cerebellar tumour surgery do not necessarily resemble adult speech characteristics of ataxic dysarthria.