Teachers More Likely to Develop Speech Disorders

  • Thread starter zoobyshoe
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In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer's patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging. Teachers were about 3.5 times more likely to develop a speech and language disorder than Alzheimer's disease. For other occupations, there was no difference between the speech and language disorders group and the Alzheimer's group.
When compared to the 2008 U.S. census, the speech and language cohort had a higher proportion of teachers, but it was consistent with the differences observed with the Alzheimer's dementia group.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015094508.htm

I find this baffling. Is the implication that people with latent progressive speech disorder are attracted to teaching, or is it that teaching exacerbates some universal vulnerability to this condition?
 

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  • #2
.Scott
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The first thing I noticed in the abstract was this:
In the study, researchers looked at a group of about 100 patients with speech and language disorders and noticed many of them were teachers. For a control, they compared them to a group of more than 400 Alzheimer's patients from the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging.
So they were examining a group that participated in their own selection. Some part of this could be caused by teachers having a higher standard of diction for themselves. A construction worker who starts to forget words or develops problems with pronunciation is not likely to become alarmed enough to mention it to a doctor - or will allow it to progress much further before mentioning it. And, of course, it's not just their own standards for themselves - it's also society's expectation of teachers. During a routine physical, a doctor is more likely to become alerted to sloppy speech from a teacher than from an engineer.

I'm not saying that this is the explanation. What I am saying is that the study is not controlled for that effect.
 

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