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Old 01-08-2010, 09:20 PM
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Does anyone know if the same part of the brain responsible for respiration is also responsible for speech? I have a friend who abuses prescription drugs and his speech really goes, and worse than being drunk. I have researched the net and can only come up with slurred speech as a side effect of taking too much of this drug. What happens to him is worse than slurred speech. Anyone know?
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:15 PM
Location: Washington, DC
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Respiration and speech are in different parts of the brain. Breathing is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. It is in the most primitive part of the brain and entirely unrelated to activities that require cognition.

However, anything that suppresses the central nervous system can impact all brain activities. Thus, someone who gets really drunk might slur his speech, but may later stop breathing if he/she reaches a level of alcohol poisoning. A prescription medication that might slow brain functioning in a manner similar to alcohol will usually carry warning labels such as "do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication affects you," "do not consume alcohol while taking this medication," or "may cause dizziness or drowsiness." Medications that can have a depressant effect range from blood pressure drugs, to anti-histamines, to anti-anxiety drugs, to opiod pain relievers.

Slurred speech is something to watch. It could be a dystonic reaction (Google it and the drug that you suspect could be causing the problem). It might also not be one drug causing it, but a combination of drugs (alcohol or illicit drugs possibly included).
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