A neurological disorder, the spasmodic dysphonia affects the human voice muscles in the larynx, which is also known as the voice box. Understanding if you are at risk of getting this disease could help you stay away from it.
As we speak the air from inside our lungs gets pushed between the two elastic structires which are known as vocal folds, and vocal cords, and the sufficient pressure causes it to vibrate which produces voice. When a person gets affected by this disease, the muscles inside the vocal folds experience sudden involuntary movement which are known as spasms. This then interferes with the ability of the folds which vibrate in order to produce sounds. A person suffering from spasmodic dysphonia tends to get voice breaks and can experience a tight and strained quality of voice. Those suffering from this disease can have occassional breaks in their voice which may occur in a few sentences.
There are three types of Spasdomic Dysphonia, and they are Adductor Spasmodic, Abductor Spasmodic, and Mixed Spasmodic. The Adductor spasmodic is the most common form which is characterised by spasms which can cause your vocal folds to slam together and then stiffe. This can make your speech choppy, as the words are often cut off.
The Abductor Spasmodic Dysphonia is another type, and this is charcterised by spasms causing the vocal folds to open. This does not allow the vocal folds to vibrate when they open too far and the position allows air ro escape from the lungs during speech. Cauing the voice to sound weak and breathy.
Mixed spasmodic dysphonia, is basically a combination the above two, and it is in fact a very rare case. This because both the muscles that open and the muscles that close the vocal folds do not work properly in this case, and so this one has features of both adductor and abductor spasmodic dysphonia.
Here are some risk factors that may put you on the edge of getting this disease.
Those having this abnormal functioning of the brain named basal ganglia are at the risk of having the disease. This basal ganglia consists of many clusters of nerve cells which can run deep inside the brain and they also help to coordinate the movements of the muscles in your body.
If it Runs In Families
The disease can also get to you if it runs in families, and 14 genes have been associated with the various types of dystonias.
Majority are Women
Research suggests that majority of patients are girls and women.
Childhood Viral Illness
It has also been found that those with childhood viral illnesses have been found to have spasdomic dysphonia than compared to others.
One must note that there are many features of the disorder that are common to other movement disorders, and this knowledge may direct future research efforts that will help us to understand it better.
Read more on Spasmodic Dysphonia.
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