Neurogenic Voice Disorders : Organic Vocal Tremor

Organic (Essential) Vocal Tremor

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Organic Essential Laryngeal Tremor

Essential tremor is a central nervous system disorder that is characterized by rhythmic tremors (4 to 7 cycles/second) of various body parts including the larynx. Tremor may involve the head, arms, neck, tongue, palate, face, and larynx in isolation or in combinations. In some patients, the tremor may only be observed when the affected body part is being used (intentional tremor), whereas other patients will exhibit the tremor behavior even at rest. The onset of essential tremor is usually gradual and begins most commonly in the fifth or sixth decade of life. The disorder occurs most frequently in males, is often hereditary, and is often accompanied by other neurological signs. Laryngeal tremor is most noticeable during prolonged vowels as the rhythm of the tremor is easily discerned. Connected speech may be negatively affected as well. In some cases the tremor is so severe that it causes voice stoppages similar to those of spasmodic dysphonia. Indeed, these two disorders, which may co-exist, are often mistaken for one another. There is no successful treatment for essential vocal tremor.

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