Documenting Outcomes in Vocal Tremor Essential tremor is a relatively common diagnosis in movement disorders clinics. The term “essential” denotes the fact that it does not arise as a symptom of a condition such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, but is a disorder in its own right. In approximately 15 to 20% of ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2004
Documenting Outcomes in Vocal Tremor
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christopher Dromey
    Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2004
Documenting Outcomes in Vocal Tremor
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2004, Vol. 14, 6-8. doi:10.1044/vvd14.1.6
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2004, Vol. 14, 6-8. doi:10.1044/vvd14.1.6
Essential tremor is a relatively common diagnosis in movement disorders clinics. The term “essential” denotes the fact that it does not arise as a symptom of a condition such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease, but is a disorder in its own right. In approximately 15 to 20% of individuals with essential tremor, phonation is affected (Carpenter et al., 1998). An otherwise steady sound source is modulated such that the fundamental frequency and amplitude fluctuate in a rhythmic fashion. As opposed to the random cycle-to-cycle irregularities which result in jitter and shimmer, tremor oscillations involve more gradual changes spread over many glottic cycles. These modulations typically occur between 3 and 7 times per second. Some have contrasted vocal tremor with vibrato in the performing voice (Ramig & Shipp, 1987). Pathological vocal tremor differs most dramatically from vibrato in that it occurs involuntarily and is sometimes so extreme that phonation may be interrupted. In addition to the slow, rhythmic modulations, the voices of individuals with vocal tremor are in some cases affected by significant perturbation and strain.
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