Mayo study finds speech disorders common among teachers

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say they have found a link between school teachers and progressive speech and language disorders.

According to WCCO Mayo researchers say the study found teachers were about three-and-a-half times more likely to develop speech and language disorders than Alzheimer's disease. Speech and language disorders are typically characterized by people losing their ability to communicate.

According to a report in e Science News for other occupations there was no difference between the language disorders group and the Alzheimer's group.

The Mayo study looked at 100 patients with speech and language disorders, and researchers noticed many of the patients were teachers. However, they are unsure why teachers developed the diseases.

Researchers say the conditions get worse over time as they are degenerative and ultimately lead to death about 8 to 10 years after diagnosis. Patients often develop problems swallowing.

Although the study does not offer any explanation for why teachers seem to be more likely to get the disease, Dr. Keith Josephs the neurologist who led the study, said that teaching is a demanding occupation, and teachers may be more sensitive to the development of speech and language impairments. Josephs added though that they may also be more aware of the symptoms and more likely to seek treatment.

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