Department of Otolaryngology

Neurologic Voice disorders

Neurologic voice disorders

Neurologic voice disorders occur as part of an underlying neurologic condition such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, or ALS. They can also happen as the result of a stroke. These disorders can affect the strength of the muscles of the voice box, and impact the control of the voice.

Neurologic voice disorders risk factors and causes

Neurologic voice disorders include a broad spectrum of diagnoses that can affect the voice.  These could include local laryngeal conditions such as spasmodic dysphonia, conditions that involve the head and neck region such as essential tremor or segmental dystonia, or conditions that involve the entire body, such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or stroke.  Neurologic voice disorders can be the first sign that a person has a neurological condition. Slurred speech can also be a sign of the onset of a stroke.

If you are already diagnosed with a neurological condition, neurologic voice disorders can be part of disease progression. Having had a stroke can also impact your neurological functions such as your voice.

Neurologic voice disorders causes

The following neurologic disorders can have voice disorders included in the disease progression:

  • ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Essential tremor
  • Spasmodic dysphonia

You may also experience changes in your voice as the result of a stroke.

Neurologic voice disorders complications

Neurological voice disorders can make a person difficult to understand. That can make communication with loved ones and caregivers difficult or complicated, which can lead to depression in the patient, and missing important signs of disease progression.

Make an appointment for neurologic voice disorders

The experts at UPMC Voice Center stand ready to help patients who have neurologic voice disorders. Call 412-232-SING (7464) for an appointment.

Neurologic voice disorders symptoms and diagnosis

Speech specialists will help correctly diagnose voice problems, and can pinpoint the muscles that are no longer efficiently participating in the formation of words and sounds.

Neurologic voice disorders symptoms

Neurologic voice disorders symptoms fall into two categories. Dysarthria is difficulty in forming words or in pronouncing words correctly, making a person hard to understand. A mechanical speech disorder is when the parts of the mouth that form words - the tongue and lips - malfunction.

Neurologic voice disorders diagnosis

Diagnosis of neurological voice disorders involves reviewing patient history. A medical professional will also conduct a physical exam which involves examining the throat, mouth and lips, and listening to the patient form words.

Make an appointment for neurologic voice disorders at UPMC

To make an appointment with an expert, contact the UPMC Voice Center at 412-232-SING (7464).