An implantable electric stimulator may become a future treatment option for SD

Michael Pitman, MD

Dr. Michael Pitman, Chief of the Division of Laryngology at the Columbia University Medical Center, is researching a modified cochlear implant that can be potentially used for the treatment of spasmodic dysphonia.  Dr. Pitman and his team discovered that when stimulating the nerves of the larynx and modulating the neurological activity, patients with SD experienced improvements in vocal phonation. The stimulation is thought to reset the muscle spindle, normalizing the proprioception of the laryngeal muscles, resulting in a smooth voice.   

Preliminary research shows that if a patient undergoes this treatment for a week, they experience 3-4 weeks of good voice quality.  They believe that every time they complete a treatment, results will last longer.