Doctors testing a potential anti-alcoholism drug have stumbled on a potential cure for stuttering.
The unusual discovery came about after a 61-year-old man with two decades of problematic drinking behind him enrolled in a medical trial, researchers at the University of Amsterdam report.
He'd been in and out of detox programmes but still drank around three bottles of wine a day. As well as alcoholism, the man had a serious stutter.
The drug on trial was baclofen, a muscle relaxant often used to treat stiffness, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord diseases.
Once the man reached a dose of 90mg a day, the doctors noticed something strange - his stutter was gone.
When they took him off the medication, his stutter returned. So they put him back on the dose, and voila, it was gone.
"This case illustrates the potential efficacy of a high-dose baclofen treatment for patients with [alcohol dependency]," the authors wrote in journal BMJ Case Reports.
It also largely fixed the man's drinking problems too - and the doctors admit his alcohol intake could be the root cause of his stutter, so want to conduct larger clinical trials on people who aren't alcoholics.