Özlem Öge Daşdöğen1, Çiğdem Ulaşoğlu Yıldız2, Elif Kurt3, Tamer Demiralp4

1Fenerbahce University Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Speech, and Language Therapy, Istanbul, Türkiye
2Istanbul University, Hulusi Behcet Life Sciences Laboratory Neuroscience Unit, Istanbul, Türkiye
3Istanbul University, Aziz Sancar Institute of Experimental Medicine, Istanbul, Türkiye
4Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Istanbul, Türkiye

Keywords: Functional magnetic resonance imaging, lower limb movement, motor movement, speech fluency, simultaneous movement, stuttering


We present an adult case with severe persistent developmental stuttering (PDS) that improved dramatically with simultaneous lower limb movements (LMs). During speaking with simultaneous lower limb movement (SLM), her stuttering severity was considerably reduced. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the neural basis of speech fluency during speaking with and without simultaneous LM. Bilateral (predominantly right) peri-rolandic cortices, supplementary motor areas (SMA), right fusiform gyrus (FFG), and left frontal gyrus were activated in the SLM compared to the ‘speaking only’ (S) and LM. There might be a subtype of PDS that benefits from rhythmic LMs to improve the speech fluency. Locomotor and respiratory coupling might temporarily induce cortical timing networks and, also induce activation, predominantly in the right hemisphere with a potential pacemaker effect. Further investigation in larger groups is required to elucidate whether rhythmic simultaneous LMs improve stuttering.

Peer Review

Externally and internally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Surgical and Medical Practices: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y., E.K., Concept: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y., E.K., T.D., Design: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y., E.K., T.D., Data Collection or Processing: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y., E.K., Analysis or Interpretation: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y., E.K., T.D., Literature Search: Ö.Ö-D., Writing: Ö.Ö-D., Ç.U-Y.

Conflict of Interest

No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study received no financial support.