This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Spasmodic dysphonia is a disease caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the voice box (larynx). Signs and symptoms may range from occasional difficulty saying a word or two to substantial difficulty speaking that interferes with communication. Spasmodic dysphonia causes the voice to have a tight, strained, or strangled quality. While the cause of spasmodic dysphonia is unknown, some researchers think it might be caused by problems with the basal ganglia in the brain.
Some cases of spasmodic dysphonia occur along with other diseases that affect the nervous system such as movement disorders. Spasmodic dysphonia may be inherited, or it may occur after a trauma to the voice box such as an injury or a severe cold. Diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia is based on an exam by a multidisciplinary team, including an otolaryngologist. This exam may include a videolaryngostroboscopy. Treatment may include surgery, Botox injections, and speech therapy.
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