The Way You Speak

What Causes Slow/Rapid/Incoherent Speech?

Slow/rapid/incoherent speech can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose slow/rapid/incoherent speech, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "slow/rapid/incoherent speech" as a symptom.  Here are six possibilities:
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Stroke Risk

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
hyperthyroidism in family members
low lymphocyte count
severe emotional instability
rapid pulse rate
long-term hypertension
missing outer third of eyebrows
inability to tell hot from cold
occasional unexplained fevers
frequent involuntary eye movement
recent onset nausea
possible stress-induced arthritis
pain when breathing
... and more than 120 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of slow/rapid/incoherent speech:
Cause Probability Status
Multiple Sclerosis 90% Confirm
Stroke Risk 51% Possible
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 20% Unlikely
Epstein-Barr Virus 4% Ruled out
Hypothyroidism 0% Ruled out
Hypoglycemia 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Mouth/Oral Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about the way you speak:
Speech. Which word / phrase best describes the way you speak?
Possible responses:
→ Slowly
→ Incoherently - people often don't understand me
→ Averagely - accurately / don't know
→ Rapidly
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slow speech, incoherent speech, normal speech or rapid speech, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)

A lack of physical or speech coordination is said to be a symptom.

Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Speech may be unintelligible, because the various muscles required to form speech are weakened.


Slurred speech is a possible sign of hypothyroidism.


Common signs that a stroke has occurred are difficulty speaking, slurred speech, or garbled speech.

Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
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