While perceptual reports support phonatory disruptions in patients with Huntington's disease, these disruptions have not been quantified objectively. Acoustic analysis offers a method to study phonatory characteristics in these patients noninvasively and to provide objective information related to laryngeal pathophysiology of both clinical and academic interest. Application of acoustic analysis to the sustained vowel phonation of eight patients with Huntington's disease revealed the following abnormalities: low frequency segments (abrupt drops in fundamental frequency of approximately one octave), vocal arrests, and reduced maximal vowel duration. There was evidence of both adductory and abductory phonatory disruption in these patients. These findings are discussed in relation to previous reports of perceptual characteristics of voices of Huntington's disease patients, as well as potential physiologic correlates of choreiform involvement in the phonatory mechanism.
- Huntington's disease
- laryngeal pathophysiology