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Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR)

NIH Public Bulletin – January 2011

Updated Fact Sheets on Swallowing and Voice Disorders Now Available

Format: Fact Sheets
Institute: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Updated fact sheets on dysphagia, a swallowing disorder, and spasmodic dysphonia and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), two voice disorders, are now available in print and on the NIDCD Web site.

Dysphagia can result from cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease, stroke, head injury, and other conditions that weaken or damage the muscles and nerves used for swallowing. It happens most frequently in older adults.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological disorder affecting the voice muscles in the larynx, or voice box. The muscles inside the vocal folds make sudden involuntary movements—called spasms—that interfere with the ability of the folds to vibrate and produce voice.

RRP is a disease in which tumors grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs. Their presence in the larynx can interfere with the normal vibrations of the vocal folds, causing hoarseness, which is the most common symptom.

Next Steps

You can read the fact sheet on dysphagia at, the fact sheet on spasmodic dysphonia at, and the fact sheet on RRP at For the full range of NIDCD publications on voice, speech, and language disorders, visit

This page last reviewed on September 6, 2012

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