Scott Adams Diagnosed with Spasmodic Dystonia
Dilbert creator and recent addition to the Blogosphere Scott Adams has been diagnosed with a permanent speech condition called Spasmodic Dystonia or Dysphonia. No, he’s not kidding.
WebMD describes the condition this way:
Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder characterized by momentary periods of uncontrolled vocal spasms, tightness in the throat, and/or recurrent hoarseness. At certain times, affected individuals must make a conscious effort to speak. The most frequent sign of this disorder is a sudden, momentary lapse or interruption of the voice. Spasmodic dysphonia is a form of dystonia, a group of neurological movement disorders characterized by involuntary muscle spasms.
There are two types of spasmodic dysphonia: Abductor spasmodic dysphonia and the more common adductor spasmodic dysphonia. The cause of spasmodic dysphonia is not known.
Adams describes it thusly:
. . . the vocal cords going nuts on their own. The net effect is that while I can give a speech to a crowd of 5,000 people, I generally canÃ¢€™t utter more than a hoarse whisper to someone one-on-one. ItÃ¢€™s like a stutterer who can sing okay but canÃ¢€™t talk normally.
How awful. Fortunately, his career is built almost entirely on the written word. But his real life isn’t.
The NIH has quite a bit of information on Dystonia generally, which affects different body parts in radically different ways.