Slurred Speech or Difficulty Speaking
Atherosclerosis is a complex condition that can affect many body organs. While the condition primarily affects the inner linings of arteries, making them narrower and more rigid, the pressure on the arteries can also affect specific organs. As organs are quite sensitive to pressure, if the blockage falls near the vicinity of the brain, it can lead to complications.
Atherosclerosis can affect any artery within the body. If plaque buildup happens in the arteries leading to the brain, it can cause problems as certain parts of the brain control various functions. For example, if the arteries leading to the temporal lobes become affected by plaque, the diminished blood flow to the organ can cause slurred speech and difficulty speaking. In addition, the left hemisphere controls the ability to speak, and brain damage could occur if the blockage occurs near that area. Medical practitioners call the condition where a person doesn’t fully control their vocal cords, diaphragm, tongue, and lips dysarthria.
If the person exhibits symptoms of dysarthria, doctors could recommend a spinal tap, brain biopsy, and blood and urine tests to diagnose the condition’s cause. Treatment for dysarthria depends on the cause and may rely on speech therapy.