Talk: Characteristics of voice and way of speaking of patients with spasmodic dysphonia, adductor type
Spasmodic dysphonia is a rare disorder that can affect anyone: one to four people in 100.000 are affected, more women than men. The onset is normally between 30 and 50 years of age. The adductor type is the most frequent form of dysphonia.
Due to the lack of information about this condition there are not many experts that can identify spasmodic dysphonia. Patients wait an average of 4,43 years (53,21 months) and visit an average of 3,95 doctors until the patient receives correct diagnosis and treatment.
The goal of this work is to bring valuable information about the disorder from a speech analysis point of view, as no such study is known.
For the research speech recordings of patients were obtained from the data base of the Phoniatrics Department of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and healthy participants were also recorded. These two groups were analysed with help of the software program Praat and then compared.
No study of the position of spasms was found in the literature. This research has revealed that patients produce longer glottal stops than healthy participants, which could point out the place of the spams. Patients have higher Jitter and Shimmer results and a smaller value of Harmonics-to-Noise Ratio.
One of the new measurement concepts which was implemented for a more accurate analysis of patients’ way of speaking is phonation time, the total speaking time without speaking breaks, glottal stops and hold phase of plosives. The relation between the patients’ phonation time and the total speaking time is higher than that of healthy participants.