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Last Updated: Monday, 9 August, 2004, 02:13 GMT 03:13 UK
Scientists set up stammer library
Gareth Gates
Gareth Gates has struggled to overcome a stammer
British scientists have set up an internet-based library of people stammering which they say will help research into the speech impediment.

The archive consists of around 150 recordings made over a decade.

Three million Britons are thought to have suffered from the condition at some point during their lives.

The database will bring "new hope" to people who stammer, said the project's head Professor Peter Howell from University College London.

Celebrity stammerers include pop idol star Gareth Gates.

King Charles I, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Aristotle, Marylin Monroe and Winston Churchill are also said to have battled with the condition.

Lack of data

Prof Howell said: "Research using these data should place us, better than ever before, in a position to offer accurate and personal advice to help people control their stammers."

He decided to compile the stammers due to the lack of available data on the subject.

Prof Howell said: "Researchers who want to investigate stammered speech really have a daunting task.

Research using these data should place us, better than ever before, in a position to offer accurate and personal advice to help people control their stammers
Professor Peter Howell
"They have to build expertise, get the right equipment, and develop an administrative structure to locate patients as well as obtaining ethical permission. Then comes the actual research.

"Once our database is available it will provide terrific encouragement for those thinking of studying in this important area."

The scientists have recorded the stammers of children and adults from different ethnic groups.

Stammering in many cases begins between the ages of three and five.

In Britain, there are more than 100,000 children aged between five and 16 who stammer, although almost all recover normal speech fluency before they leave school.

The research charity, the Wellcome Trust, has given financial backing to the project.




SEE ALSO:
Gareth Gates becomes speech coach
12 May 04  |  Entertainment
Stammerers voice opinions
04 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Scans spot 'stuttering brains'
01 Aug 02  |  Health


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