Velopharyngeal Dystonia: An Unusual Focal Task-specific Dystonia?

  • Amar S Patel
  • Lucian Sulica
  • Steven J Frucht


Background: Velopharyngeal dysfunction produces a nasal speech pattern because of the inability to close the nasal airway during speech, most often associated with anatomical abnormalities of the palate.

Case Report: We describe two cases of possible velopharyngeal dystonia, a task-specific movement disorder causing a speech pattern similar to velopharyngeal dysfunction. Both patients experienced treatment response with anticholinergic medication.

Discussion: Dystonia affecting speech via involvement of the pharyngeal musculature may be an unrecognized etiology of voice disorders.