This study will look for abnormalities in a brain of persons affected with spasmodic dysphonia, a form of movement disorder that involves involuntary "spasms" of the muscles in the vocal folds causing breaks of speech and affecting voice quality. The causes of this disorder are not known. The study will compare results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in people with spasmodic dysphonia and in healthy volunteers.
People with adductor or abductor spasmodic dysphonia and healthy volunteers may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a medical history, physical examination, and a test called nasolaryngoscopy. For this test, the inside of the subject's nose is sprayed with a decongestant, and a small, flexible tube called a nasolaryngoscope is passed through the nose to the back of the throat to allow examination of the larynx (voice box). During this procedure, the subject is asked to perform tasks such as talking, singing, whistling, and saying prolonged vowels. The nasolaryngoscope is connected to a camera to record the movements of the vocal folds during these tasks.
Eligible participants then undergo MRI of the brain. MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves instead of x-rays to obtain images of body organs and tissues. For this test, the subject lies on a table that slides into the MRI scanner, a narrow metal cylinder, wearing ear plugs to muffle loud knocking sound that occurs during the scan. During MRI anatomical images of the brain are obtained. Subject may be asked to participate in up to two scanning sessions. Each session takes about 1-1/2 hours.
Participants may also be asked to volunteer for a brain donation program which is optional. Information gained from donated tissue may lead to better treatments and potential cures for spasmodic dysphonia.