Spasmodic dysphonia is a little known voice disorder caused by spasms of the vocal cord muscles. BOTOX, commonly used to reduce and prevent wrinkles, works by relaxing muscles. Although not yet approved for treatment of vocal disorders, it has been successfully used off-label to treat spasmodic dysphonia for many years.
A study published in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, shows that BOTOX treatments are remarkably and consistently effective in improving voice-related quality of life (V-RQOL). Because V-RQOL includes physical, emotional, and social elements it is largely subjective, and in the past has been difficult to determine. Researchers from the University of Michigan, who conducted the study, used a questionnaire which allows patients to rate their V-RQOL, in a measurable way. The average score, on a scale of one to 100, went from 30 before treatment to 80 after treatment, a very significant improvement.