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Orofacial Dysfunction In Children And Adolescents With Myotonic Dystrophy

L. Sjögreen, M. Engvall, Anne-Berit Ekström, A. Lohmander, S. Kiliaridis, M. Tulinius
Published 2007 · Medicine

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Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by an expansion of a CTG repeat sequence on chromosome 19q13. The aim of the present study was to describe the characteristics and prevalence of oral motor dysfunction in a cohort of children and adolescents with DM and to correlate different aspects of oral motor function with the type of DM and sex. Fifty‐six individuals with DM (30 males, 26 females; median age 13y 2mo; range 2y 6mo‐21y 5mo) were compared with healthy controls. They were divided into four subgroups: severe congenital DM (n=18); mild congenital DM (n=18); childhood DM (n=18); and classical DM (n=2). A speech‐language pathologist assessed different variables of oral motor function, intelligibility, and lip force. The families used a questionnaire to report on eating difficulties and drooling. All individuals with DM had impaired facial expression. Intelligibility was moderately or severely reduced in 30 patients (60%), excluding six patients without speech. Most had a moderate or severe impairment of lip motility (76.0%), tongue motility (52.2%), and lip force (69.2%), causing deviant production of bilabial and dental consonants. The families reported problems with eating (51.9%) and drooling (37.0%). Oral motor dysfunction was most prominent in congenital DM, and males were more affected than females.
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