Home > Stuttering.Microblog > Just got a call from the NIH, and they found something…

Just got a call from the NIH, and they found something…

Today I checked my voicemail at work, and found a call from Dr. Dennis Drayna from the N.I.H. Dr. Drayna has been doing genetic research on stuttering for a number of years now, and his research findings are all over the web.  In short, much (but not all) of the stuttering phenomenon seems to be attributed to genetics.

Anyway–back in 2007, I gave a blood sample at the NSA conference in Atlanta.  I didn’t think much of it at the time; it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Haven’t thought of it since, till today.

Apparently, they (research team at NIH) found something.  Out of all the (hundreds, if not thousands) of (stuttered blood) samples that have been taken (worldwide), they found 21 participants with a unique polygenetic mutation.  (In this case, the co-occurrence of 3 mutated genes).  I am one of the 21.  While I don’t know much of their findings, he did share that two of these three mutated genes are associated with serious (i.e., fatal) childhood diseases.  I don’t exactly know what this latter finding means, since I (along with 20 of the 21) am (are) perfectly healthy.  (For all I know, we’re all one mutated gene away from *fill in the blank*.)  In any event, they want to fly me up to Bethesda for a full work-up.  I’ll accept the offer, and keep posting about it if there’s interest.

How do I feel about it?  It’s as if I always knew; someone is finally getting around to finding it.  I always believed that stuttering (i.e., stuttered speech) is not the disorder.  It is the consequence (or bodily compensation) to dysfunctional (neurological) expressive communication.  And I believe that stuttering has a variety of genetic or neurological causes; this particular polygenetic mutation is but one.  We will find others.  (Similarly, there are over a hundred of genetic / neurological disorders that result in deafness; the same will be found in stuttering.)  Maybe now I can get a copy of the genetic report and throw it at people after they may the (ignorant) obligatory “but stuttering is psychological” comment.

But to get the call from a world-renowned expert saying that they found something, and you are one of the 21.  That was quite surreal indeed.

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  1. Tone
    February 4th, 2009 at 11:21 | #1

    Wow! I always knew you were special :p hehe
    Please tell us more of Dr. Drayna’s findings. Are they closer to finding anything that can actually be useful?

    [Reply]

  2. admin
    February 4th, 2009 at 12:48 | #2

    I wish I could–but we’re still trying to schedule a date to go up there. (You know, so they can poke w/ with a stick.) I’ll def. post about it if/when all this goes down… 🙂

    [Reply]

  3. Jonny Franca
    June 10th, 2011 at 10:26 | #3

    Greg, have you already known some new discovery in this genetic research? Why the mutations found cause stuttering? Have they managed to elucidate it?

    Keep us updated.

    [Reply]

  4. Johnny
    June 11th, 2011 at 04:47 | #4

    Greg, have you already known some new discovery in this genetic research? Why the mutations found cause stuttering? Have they managed to elucidate it?
    Keep us updated.

    [Reply]

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