Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a
neurological condition that affects the ability of the vocal folds to open and
close smoothly and under fine motor control. There are two broad categories of
is more common and affects approximately 90% of SD patients. Those afflicted with this condition have
vocal folds that close inappropriately, clipping off the ends of words or
sentences and causing a strangled or halting quality to the voice.
10% of patients have the abductor-type, characterized by the inappropriate
opening of the vocal folds. This causes a breathy rush of air and the loss of
the end of a word or sentence.
Spasmodic dysphonia is
characterized as a focal dystonia (limited to a single muscle or small group)
for which we have no reliable cure. An
“inappropriate” message is sent from the brain to the vocal folds, which cause
their misbehavior. While we cannot yet interrupt this pathway, we are able to
manage the symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia by using BOTOX® injected
directly into the responsible muscles of the larynx (voice box). The particular type of SD determines which muscle
pair requires treatment.
There are patients that have reported some
improvement following various surgical procedures designed to treat spasmodic
dysphonia, and a few who have even reported positive results with voice therapy
alone. These patients, however, appear to be a minority, and the bulk of
spasmodic dysphonia patients receive the greatest benefit from intermittent BOTOX® therapy.
Make an Appointment
If you are suffering from spasmodic dysphonia (SD) call 716-WAKE or request an appointment online.