Spasmodic dysphonia is difficulty speaking due to spasms (dystonia) of the muscles that control the vocal cords. Spasmodic dysphonia most often results from a problem in the brain or nervous system that can affect the voice.

There are 2 broad categories of spasmodic dysphonia:

  • Adductor-type – affects approximately 90 percent of spasmodic dysphonia patients. Those afflicted with this condition have vocal colds that close inappropriately, clipping off the ends of words or sentences and causing a strangled or halting quality to the voice.
  • Abductor-type – affects approximately 10 percent of spasmodic dysphonia patients. This condition is characterized by the inappropriate opening of the vocal colds which causes a breathy rush of air and the loss of the end of a word or sentence.

Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment

There is currently no reliable cure for spasmodic dysphonia. We cannot yet interrupt the “inappropriate” message that is being sent from the brain to the vocal cords.

However, the symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia can be managed using BOTOX® injected directly into the responsible muscles of the larynx (voice box). The particular type of spasmodic dysphonia determines which muscle pair requires treatment.