Speech Disorders/My mom, stroke survivor



My mom (68) suffered a stroke about 10 years ago. As a result of it she suffers of Mixed Aphasia (among other issues). I've been following Stem Cells news very anxiously for about the same period of time but I can't find much. Is there anything new out there? Is there any new treatment or Clinics that are conducting treatment ? any information will help. Thank you

Hi Maria,

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to you.

If your mom had a stroke 10 years ago, I am going to assume that you have already visited an neurologist?  If she has not been checked out by a neurologist in the past year or two, I would definitely check in with one.

Next, I would find a Speech Language Pathologist or SLP to evaluate her.  

I am interested in knowing what the SLP and the Neurologist would say about your mom.

I have been to an SLP myself, and I found that the gentler exercises do not traumatize my jaw as much.  So if she decides to do that, just watch out for any mouth exercises that are too strenuous.

As for your Stem Cell question, I just went on Google just as you did.  There has been some success in laboratory animals that were injected with neural stem cells.  These stem cells can then "move selectively towards damaged areas. Once there, the cells can help replace damaged tissue and encourage the brain repair mechanisms into action by releasing substances that reduce inflammation and improve survival of existing neurons."

I also searched for companies who are at the leading edge of stem cell research.  And believe it or not, I found it difficult to find legitimate, impartial news sites that list names of companies that are aggressively researching stem cells.  A few names that I did find are Becton-Dickinson, Invitrogen, General Electric, Novartis and Johnson and Johnson.

If you do decide to look for pharmaceutical companies that are researching stem cells, then stay away from sites that masquerade as legitimate investor guidance or news......when they are really on the make trying to sell something......with enough practice you will be able to see the difference.  Stick with names you know, like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, well known medical journals.

And one more thing.....for future elections.....take notice as to which parties and which candidates are in favor or opposed to this stem cell research.  There are usually many ethical, religious, scientific points of view.   I am personally in favor of stem cell research, for the very reason, you asked the question for your 68 year old mother.

Best Regards,
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Jonathan - Patient Point of View


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my bite problem. I am not a doctor, but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. ////// I come from a family of dentists. My first house growing up was one of those residential/dentist combination homes and I was around the dental practice all the time. My teeth had always been perfect, and in many respects they still are. I have never had a cavity and my teeth are straight. About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." I have learned a lot over the years as I tried to figure out my problem from the Dentists, Speech Pathologists and assorted doctors that I have visited. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


Twenty-Five years ago after my wisdom teeth were removed, my bite did not feel right and then had trouble speaking. For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. The years of searching for proper treatment has underscored the importance of understanding the relationship between dental and speech methodologies.///// To this end, and to further my research, I recently attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Atlanta. At ASHA I learned about a specialty within Speech Pathology termed “Orofacial Myology”. In laymen's terms Orofacial Myology Disorder (OMD) deals with the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw. OMD is a motor speech disorder that impacts the normal flow of speech, chewing or swallowing.///// If you believe that your struggles with your teeth also present speech, chewing or swallowing challenges, you may want to seek out a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.....preferably one that has training with Orofacial Myology Disorder.

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Abridged Version of a Letter I Sent to a Health Care Professional (3/14/13): "..In my early 20's I had my wisdom teeth out. Almost immediately within a few days, something did not feel right in my mouth. I had trouble speaking. When I raised my tongue to try and touch my palate, I felt mostly just teeth. It is very cumbersome to talk and my bite also became a little bit off. If feels almost as if someone put a fork in my mouth and said "now try and speak." Very difficult. My articulation is fine, so to an observer I sound normal. But it takes a monumental effort, so I hate situations like talking on the phone or when somebody asks me to "tell them a story." ..I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. They just automatically gravitate to what they have heard about TMJ and assume I am either stressed, or just imagining it. Years later, I look back at all those dentists and doctors and I am amazed at how little they really knew about my condition. I have seen the best dentists, including my dad who is a Orthodontist in New York, to TMJ Dentists in Atlanta and Florida. No one ever suggested that Speech Pathology may be a direction I should explore. ..And I was frustrated by the fact that several MRI's over the years, showed nothing. How could the MRI’s show nothing, and at the same time, I know something does not feel right? I do wear a night guard to sleep in, but it does not fix the trouble that I have when I try to talk. ..I went with a Speech Pathologist friend of mine to the American Speech Language Hearing (ASHA) Convention last October in Atlanta...There was a Speech Pathologist at ASHA who was saying that sometimes when you have your Wisdom Teeth taken out "late" that it could possibly cause damage to the Trigeminal Nerve and surrounding muscles.” POSTSCRIPT: At ASHA, I discovered OROFACIAL MYOLOGY (OMD) which is a specialty in Speech Pathology that addresses Oral Muscular Issues.

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