Spasmodic dysphonia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Spasmodic dysphonia, or focal laryngeal dystonia, is a central nervous system disorder of motor control. Most spasmodic dysphonia patients have the adductor type, which produces a characteristic strain-strangled voice. A small number of patients have the abductor type, which produces a breathy or whispering voice. Some patients with a mixed type have elements of both types. Genetic studies continue, because one patient in five with dystonia has a familial inheritance. The gene loci of 9q32-34 and the Xq13 have been established in several families. Many diagnostic tools now available include stroboscopy, electromyography, acoustic tests, airflow studies, and pressure measurements. Experience with botulinum toxin therapy continues to show benefit. Botulinum toxin injections, whether unilateral, bilateral, or indirect, have been found to have efficacy. The toxin also has been effective for management of the abductor type, stuttering, cricopharyngeal spasm, adductor breathing dystonia, and myoclonus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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