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  New hope for stammerers
Updated 02 August 2002, 12.06

Scientists have finally discovered what causes stammering.

It's caused by a defect in the left-hand side of the brain.

And now they know what causes people to stammer, it'll help them develop better ways to find a cure for it.

Fact File
Stammering facts
Stammering affects 1% of the adult population
5% of children are affected, one third of whom will recover
Boys are four times more likely to stammer than girls
The condition is thought to run in familes
Stammering is actual quite common and affects 5% of children.

It can cause great embarrassment and frustration for the suffers. Pop Idol Gareth Gates is well-known for his stammer.

Brain signals

Kids normally start stammering between the ages of two and five, but many of them grow out of it.

Speech is affected because the messages which the brain sends don't get through properly.

'Don't interrupt!'

Max has had a stammer since he was six.
Max has had a stammer since he was six.

Eleven-year-old Max Milner has had a stammer since he was six and advises people to wait until the sufferer has finished speaking.

"It's really annoying when people keep interrupting," he says.

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