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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008 Oct;139(4):495-505. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2008.05.624.

Research priorities in spasmodic dysphonia.

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  • 1Laryngeal and Speech Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.



To identify research priorities to increase understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and improved treatment of spasmodic dysphonia.


A multidisciplinary working group was formed that included both scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines (otolaryngology, neurology, speech pathology, genetics, and neuroscience) to review currently available information on spasmodic dysphonia and to identify research priorities.


Operational definitions for spasmodic dysphonia at different levels of certainty were recommended for diagnosis and recommendations made for a multicenter multidisciplinary validation study.


The highest priority is to characterize the disorder and identify risk factors that may contribute to its onset. Future research should compare and contrast spasmodic dysphonia with other forms of focal dystonia. Development of animal models is recommended to explore hypotheses related to pathogenesis. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of spasmodic dysphonia should provide the basis for developing new treatment options and exploratory clinical trials.


This document should foster future research to improve the care of patients with this chronic debilitating voice and speech disorder by otolaryngology, neurology, and speech pathology.

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