A non-invasive neuromodulation treatment for the voice disorder spasmodic dysphonia

Lead investigator: Arash Mahnan

Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a voice disorder that leads to strained or choked speech. SD is unresponsive to speech therapy. Our preliminary work showed that voice quality in SD improves when vibrotactile stimulation (VTS) is applied to the larynx, a non-invasive form of neuromodulation. What is needed is a device that applies VTS and can be worn by patients during daily life. This project seeks to design and build such a device and to test it with a sample of patients. For this effort to succeed, the project involves close collaboration between engineers, motor control scientists and voice disorder clinicians.

The project is supported by the U of M’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) through Translational Grant Program, which is focused on rare disease.