Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a neurological disorder that causes “spasms” of the vocal cords and interruptions of speech. It can dramatically affect the ability to speak and can interfere with the patient’s quality of life. Patients describe their voice as broken up or tight, strained, or strangled in quality. The condition is similar to other focal dystonias such as cervical dystonia (torticollis), blepharospasm, musician’s dystonia, and writer’s cramp.
The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association has an excellent website describing this condition and provides examples of the different kinds of voice problems with SD.
The most common type of SD is Adductor spasmodic dysphonia. This type of SD was successfully treated in the DEBUSSY trial. There is also a rare type of SD called Abductor spasmodic dysphonia. We have recently successfully treated this condition and published our randomized controlled trial in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Neurosurgery in 2021 (link to paper).
We have also recently submitted our initial excellent results on treating Abductor SD and Mixed SD with deep brain stimulation in the peer-reviewed journal Open Neurosurgery.