Perseveration of Speech: Definition, Example & Treatment

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  • 0:00 Background on Speech…
  • 0:25 Definition, Causes, & Examples
  • 1:36 Treatments of Speech…
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Mangino
In this lesson, you will learn about the communication disorder perseveration of speech. We are going to talk about a couple of examples of perseveration, causes, and treatments.

Background on Speech Perseveration

Imagine you are visiting a friend in the hospital. While you are walking down the hall to his room, you pass another patient sitting in a wheelchair repeating 'hello' over and over again. You look around to see if he's greeting someone, but it appears he's talking to himself. What could be wrong with this patient? What kind of treatment is he receiving?

Definition, Causes, & Examples

Perseveration of speech is a type of speech disorder that involves repeating words, phrases, or sounds. It's a disorder that is a type of aphasia. Aphasia means that a person has problems processing or expressing words. For example, a patient may repeat the letters A-R-E continuously. Perseveration can also mean that a person gets stuck or fixated on a certain topic in conversation. The pattern of repetition could be continuous, and it's often an uncontrollable reaction that results from another disorder.

Perseveration of speech is a common characteristic of a variety of conditions that affect the brain and its speech areas, including dementia, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and autism, as well as traumatic brain injuries. Many of these neurological disorders tend to affect the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the command center for speech.

Perseveration of speech can interfere with a person's daily activities. The uncontrollable repetition of words can also make it difficult to socialize with others. People who experience this type of speech abnormality may have underlying anxiety or depression, which can become worse when they are socially isolated due to their inability to communicate with other people.

Treatments of Speech Perseveration

The treatment for perseveration of speech depends on its cause. In some circumstances, such as a traumatic brain injury, speech and language therapy may help. If the person has a chemical imbalance in the brain, antipsychotic medications may be ordered to help restore stabilization in the nervous system. This type of medication may be used in a patient with schizophrenia. Behavioral therapy may help patients with perseveration of speech to focus on any anxiety issues that may be making the perseveration worse.

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