About New Zealand Dystonia Patient Network Inc.
The New Zealand Dystonia Patient Network Inc. is a voluntary, non-profit, self-help organization dedicated to linking individuals affected by spasmodic dysphonia. Such networking opportunities enable affected individuals and family members to exchange information, resources, and mutual support. Spasmodic dysphonia is a rare disorder characterized by stuttering, momentary periods of uncontrolled vocal spasms, tightness in the throat, and/or recurrent hoarseness. The most frequent finding associated with spasmodic dysphonia is the occurrence of sudden, momentary lapses or interruptions of vocalization. Spasmodic dysphonia is a form of dystonia, a group of neuromuscular disorders characterized by involuntary muscle spasms. There are two main types of spasmodic dysphonia: “abductor” spasmodic dysphonia, in which the vocal cords draw apart (abduction), and “adductor” spasmodic dysphonia, in which the vocal cords draw together (adduction) and may become locked. The exact cause of spasmodic dysphonia is unknown. The New Zealand Spasmodic Dysphonia Patient Network was established in 1992 and currently has approximately 65 members. In addition to providing networking services to its members, the organization has a database and publishes a regular newsletter.