-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
FRIDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Teachers are much more
likely than people with other jobs to be diagnosed with progressive
speech and language disorders, according to a new study.
"Teachers are in daily communication," study senior author Dr. Keith Josephs, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. "It's a demanding occupation, and teachers may be more sensitive to the development of speech and language impairments."
Those with progressive speech and language disorders may lose
their ability to form sentences or articulate the right sounds when
they are speaking. Although these disorders are different from the
dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, they are usually
fatal within 10 years of the initial diagnosis, according to the
In conducting the study, which was published in the September
issue of the
American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other
Dementias, the researchers examined roughly 100 patients with
progressive speech and language disorders, most of whom were
teachers. The researchers compared this group to more than 400
people with Alzheimer's disease involved in the Mayo Clinic Study
The study revealed that people with speech and language
disorders were three and a half times more likely to be teachers
than were patients with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers said
other jobs were not associated with this type of discrepancy, the
news release said.
It is important to note that although the study found an
association between teaching and incidence of speech and language
disorders, it did not show a cause-and-effect relationship.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association provides more
speech and language disorders.
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