Genetic bases of stuttering: The state of the art, 2011

Shelly Jo Kraft, Ehud Yairi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: The literature on the genetics of stuttering is reviewed with special reference to the historical development from psychosocial explanations leading up to current biological research of gene identification. Summary: A gradual progression has been made from the early crude methods of counting percentages of stuttering probands who have relatives who stutter to recent studies using entire genomes of DNA collected from each participant. Despite the shortcomings of some early studies, investigators have accumulated a substantial body of data showing a large presence of familial stuttering. This encouraged more refined research in the form of twin studies. Concordance rates among twins were sufficiently high to lend additional support to the genetic perspective of stuttering. More sophisticated aggregation studies and segregation analyses followed, producing data that matched recognized genetic models, providing the final 'go ahead' to proceed from the behavior/statistical genetics into the sphere of biological genetics. Recent linkage and association studies have begun to reveal contributing genes to the disorder. Conclusion: No definitive findings have been made regarding which transmission model, chromosomes, genes, or sex factors are involved in the expression of stuttering in the population at large. Future research and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Fluency
  • Genes
  • Genetics
  • Stuttering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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