Stammering could be cured by taking a drug being used to help alcoholics, doctors have claimed.
A report by MailOnline said the treatment was discovered by chance after a 61-year-old man who drank up to three litres of wine a day found he stopped stammering when he was given baclofen, a relaxant that eases stiff muscles caused by multiple sclerosis and spinal diseases.
It was being tested as a treatment for alcohol dependence because it is thought to target the nerve centres in the brain involved in reward and addiction.
Stammering or stuttering is a common condition beginning in childhood, with one in 20 youngsters going through a phase.
Although four in five stop, it affects one in 100 adults, 80 per cent of them men, the report adds.
The most famous stammerer was Prince Albert, who became George VI in 1936.
2010 Oscar-winning film, The King’s Speech is about George VI.
Like most sufferers, he used speech therapy to overcome the condition, which is still offered by the NHS. But experts say the new discovery could replace this.
MailOnline quotes a psychologist, Dr Esther Beraha, of the University of Amsterdam, as saying that baclofen could work by relaxing the respiratory muscles and those in the neck and face.
It could also reduce anxiety for patients, and may indirectly cut production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with the speech impediment.