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    Morell Mackenzie’s contribution to the description of spasmodic dysphonia

    Lorch, Marjorie and Whurr, R. (2016) Morell Mackenzie’s contribution to the description of spasmodic dysphonia. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 125 (12), pp. 976-981. ISSN 0003-4894.

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    Objectives: Since the middle of the 20th century most discussions of Spasmodic Dysphonia reference a paper by Ludwig Traube published in1871 as the first historical citation, crediting him with priority for this clinical syndrome. However, our recent research has determined that the original observation by Traube was published in 1864 and does not in fact describe what is currently recognized as SD. It appears that many clinics throughout Europe and North America were investigating and publishing observations on a range of voice disorders.. Methods: The wider context of work on laryngeal disorders in the 1860s-1870s is considered. One of Traube’s contemporaries, Morell Mackenzie made significant contributions to the understanding of laryngeal movement disorder and its consequences for the voice. These will be examined to gain a clearer focus on the characterization of this disorder. Results: The clinical descriptions published by Morrell Mackenzie in the 1860s provide details which conform quite closely to our current day understanding of SD. Conclusions: The citation of Traube’s “hysterical” patient links to mid-20th century views of the functional nature of SD and the utility of psychiatric treatment. The description presented by Mackenzie is consistent with current views of SD as a movement disorder.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Dysphonia, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Spasmodic Dystonia, Voice Disorders, Movement Disorders, 19th century History of Medicine
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2016 14:27
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:38


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