UK sets up stammer library

August 10, 2004

Brussels, 09 Aug 2004

A team of UK scientists has set up a unique internet-based voice library of stammering.

It is hoped the collection of almost 150 recordings made over ten years will boost research into speech impediments, which affect millions of people at some point in their lives.

According to Professor Peter Howell, from University College London, the head of the project: 'This database and the findings it will bring will offer new hope to people who stammer.'

Indeed at present, there is a discouraging lack of information available on the subject. As Professor Howell explained: 'Researchers who want to investigate stammered speech really have a daunting task. They have to build expertise, get the right equipment, and develop an administrative structure to locate patients as well as obtaining ethical permission. Then comes the actual research.

'Once our database is available it will provide terrific encouragement for those thinking of studying in this important area,' he added.

Famous people who suffered from the condition include, Napoleon Bonaparte, Isaac Newton, Aristotle, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill and Charles Darwin.

The team of scientist has recorded the stammer of children and adults from different ethnic groups and backgrounds. Stammering typically begins between the ages of three and five. Studies have found that one per cent of the adult population stammers and that men account for 80 per cent of all adult stammerers.

Thanks to the data made available by the team, patients will benefit from more accurate and personal advice to control their stammer.

Remarks: For more information about the library, please visit: tm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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