Speakers cramp new disorder treated with Botox

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A research team in Copenhagen, Denmark have named a speech disorder "Speaker's Cramp".

The condition causes a task-related spasmodic contraction of the muscles of the mouth and jaw, which in turn creates involuntary movements of the mouth and lips which only happens during speech, manifesting as grimacing and sound distortion. Symptoms were reduced when the affected muscles were treated with Botox injections.

Patients rated their speech difficulties on visual analogue scales, and video recordings for dystonia scores and neurological and odontological examinations were used for evaluation. Surface and needle electromyography (EMG) was applied to locate dystonic activity and guide injections of Botox into the affected muscles. After baseline recordings, the patients were followed for two to three years, with Botox injections every 3-4 months and evaluation once or twice between treatments. The level of digastric muscle activity was directly linked to the severity of the condition. The patients reported marked improvement in and relief from the grimacing and speech difficulty associated with Speaker's Cramp after treatment.

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