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Study Details

How does brain function change during a treatment cycle of Botox injections for the voice disorder adductor laryngeal dystonia?

(IRB#: IRB_00143531)

The purpose of this study is to find the locations in the brain that are affected by Botox injections into the throat muscles in patients who have adductor-type laryngeal dystonia (also known as adductor spasmodic dysphonia). Participation in this study involves brain scans along with assessments of the voice muscles. Brain scans involve 1) laying still in a scanner while resting and speaking and 2) wearing a head cap while seated and reclined during speaking tasks. Assessment of voice muscles involves small needles inserted into muscles in the voice box. All procedures are well-tolerated by most people. Participants with laryngeal dystonia will have 4 brain scans (2 of each kind) and 2 voice muscle assessments over 1 Botox cycle (approximately 3-4 months). A second purpose of this study is to evaluate a specialized speech therapy program for treating laryngeal dystonia. Therapy will take place over 6 months (2 Botox cycles) and will incorporate in-person or virtual session along with home practice. Some participants may be eligible to participate by completing only some portions of the study.


  • All genders
  • Over 18 years old
  • Volunteers with special conditions
  •   In Person
  • Paid

Who can participate?

 Gender: All genders

  Age: Over 18 years old

  Volunteers: Volunteers with special conditions

   Location: In Person

Inclusion Criteria

  • 18+ years of age
  • English-speaking
  • Right-handed
  • Normal hearing or mild-moderate hearing loss
  • Consistent dose and response to Botox for at least 3 consecutive Botox injections (including the current injection)

Exclusion Criteria

  • Metal in the body that is not MRI compatible (for fMRI only)
  • Aversion to needles affecting your ability to participate in the study (for muscle assessment only)
  • Currently pregnant
  • Any other neurological disorder (other than adductor-type laryngeal dystonia in the patient group)
  • Psychological disorders besides depression and anxiety

Will I be paid for my time?


For more information contact:

Jenny Pierce


IRB#: IRB_00143531

PI: Jenny Pierce

Department: Surgery

Approval Date: 2021-09-15 06:00:00

Study Categories: Brain Health Studies

Specialties: Neurology, Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery

Last Updated: 6/8/23