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Alternative Names Return to topDysphonia - spasmodic
Definition Return to top
Spasmodic dysphonia involves difficulty speaking because of repetitive or continuous spasms (dystonia) of the muscles that control the vocal cords.
Symptoms Return to top
The excessive activity of the vocal cord muscles drives the vocal cords either too close or too far apart.
This causes a hoarse or grating sounding voice, often with pauses (known as adductor dysphonia) or a whispery, breathy voice (abductor dysphonia), which is less common.
Treatment Return to top
Some people will find that the problem goes away when they sing or shout. Botulinum toxin (Botox) treatments may help.
References Return to top
Goetz, CG, ed. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 13.Update Date: 6/19/2008 Updated by: Sean O. Stitham, MD, private practice in Internal Medicine, Seattle, WA; Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.