Pediatric Neurogenic Dysphonia
Neurogenic dysphonia is a voice disorder that occurs due to any number of diseases that affect the nervous system. This causes nerves in the larynx (voice box) to weaken, which affects the function of vocal cords.
Dysphonia refers to voice disorders that affect the quality, pitch and loudness of the voice. The vocal cords (also called vocal folds) are located in the larynx and vibrate to create sound. They also regulate the flow of oxygen into the lungs and protect the airway from foreign particles while eating and drinking.
When certain diseases target the nervous system, the nerves in the larynx also can be affected. This, in turn, can prevent vocal cords from working properly.
Causes of neurogenic dysphonia in children can include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Malformations or structural defects in the cerebellum (the part of the brain near the spinal cord)
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spina bifida
- Posterior fossa tumor (a type of brain tumor)
Symptoms of neurogenic dysphonia include:
- Abnormal pitch and volume of voice
- Loss of voice
- Shaky voice
- Strained, hoarse or weak voice