Breaking News: A Possible Cure For Stuttering
Research points to a cure for more than three quarters of a million adults who stutter.
Most reports about stuttering typically point to the fact that there is no known cure. But all that might now change as a result of a study recently completed at the National Center For Stuttering. It would appear that Thiamin (ordinary vitamin B1) might prove to be the long-sought-for 'miracle' cure for approximately 30% of the 2.4 million adult males in the US who stutter.
Dr. Martin F. Schwartz, Executive Director of the Center, describes the study:
"Thirty-eight male stutterers between 21 and 37 years of age were randomly divided into two groups. One group received 300 milligrams of Thiamin and the other, a placebo. To avoid bias, neither the investigators nor the subjects knew whether the subjects were taking the vitamin or the placebo.
The experiment lasted for two weeks.
The subjects were given a standardized test for stuttering that measured the average percent syllables stuttered from three different speaking situations: face-to-face conversation, reading and telephone conversation. The test was given twice: once prior to the experiment and again at its conclusion.
The data were analyzed statistically.
As expected, the difference in the average score between the placebo and the vitamin groups at the beginning of the study was not significant. Simply put, the two groups were essentially identical to begin with.
Similarly, for the placebo group, the average percent syllables stuttered prior to and after the experiment was also not significant. Thus, no placebo effect occurred for the placebo group.
Finally, the findings for the vitamin group were highly significant, with a before and after difference of such magnitude that the likelihood of it occurring by chance was less than one in a hundred.
A closer examination of the data from the vitamin group revealed something interesting and unexpected. There were really two groups: one group whose stuttering had largely been eliminated by the vitamin and a second whose stuttering had not changed at all.
Six of the 19 subjects showed the dramatic effect. For the remaining 13, application of the statistical test revealed no significant difference from the pre-experiment scores. All of the significance had come from this small subgroup."
It was decided to follow these six individuals to see if the effect persisted. They continued to take what was now openly acknowledged to be the vitamin.
"It has been more than 7 months and their speech has remained essentially free of stuttering," said Dr. Schwartz
"But that's not all. A new effect has been observed: the subjects now report that their habit of scanning (looking ahead for feared sounds, words and speaking situations as they speak) has disappeared. In other words, they no longer think about their speech. The anticipatory stresses associated with their stuttering are gone.
While the exact function of Thiamin for these individuals is not known, the implications of this study are substantial," says Dr. Schwartz. "There are almost 2.4 million adult male stutterers in the US. If the results of this study are valid (and only replication by independent investigators will establish this), then approximately 30%, that is, over three quarters of a million adult male stutterers, can have their stuttering cured by the simple expedient of taking 300mg of Thiamin daily."*
*Fortunately, the lack of toxicity for Thiamin (even well in excess of the amounts used in this study) has been well documented. As is true with any supplement, however, those interested in trying Thiamin should always consult first with their physician.
Notice that the amount specified is for adult males, not for children or adult females. Research on these populations is underway.
The effects can be seen within two weeks. If no effects are seen, none will occur and you may assume that Thiamin will not be of benefit and thus there is no need to continue with it.
For those wishing to examine the original study, they can do so here.
The National Center for Stuttering can be reached at 212.982.3157
Dr. Schwartz's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org