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, 17 (3), 160-5

Treatment for Spasmodic Dysphonia: Limitations of Current Approaches


Treatment for Spasmodic Dysphonia: Limitations of Current Approaches

Christy L Ludlow. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.


Purpose of review: Although botulinum toxin injection is the gold standard for treatment of spasmodic dysphonia, surgical approaches aimed at providing long-term symptom control have been advancing over recent years.

Recent findings: When surgical approaches provide greater long-term benefits to symptom control, they also increase the initial period of side effects of breathiness and swallowing difficulties. Recent analyses of quality-of-life questionnaires in patients undergoing regular injections of botulinum toxin demonstrate that a large proportion of patients have limited relief for relatively short periods due to early breathiness and loss-of-benefit before reinjection.

Summary: Most medical and surgical approaches to the treatment of spasmodic dysphonia have been aimed at denervation of the laryngeal muscles to block symptom expression in the voice, and have both adverse effects as well as treatment benefits. Research is needed to identify the central neuropathophysiology responsible for the laryngeal muscle spasms in order target treatment towards the central neurological abnormality responsible for producing symptoms.

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