The purpose of this study is to see how the brain re-learns to control the larynx in
speaking and swallowing when undergoing surgical rehabilitation in the form of either
thyroplasty or vocal fold augmentation for unilateral vocal cord paralysis. What is needed
is information on how the brain re-learns to control speaking and swallowing so that we can
eventually learn how to help patients re-learn faster after their procedure. Functional
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (or fMRI) will allow us to image your brain as you speak and
swallow. We will produce "brain maps" for speaking, swallowing and hand movements.
The purpose of this investigation is to determine cortical mechanisms of adaptation to
surgical rehabilitation of patients with unilateral vocal cord paralysis (UVCP) undergoing
either type I thyroplasty or unilateral vocal fold augmentation for the management of
unilateral vocal cord paralysis. This study will use the non-invasive imaging technique,
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), to investigate cortical responses and
responses in the larynx of patients with UVCP who have been deemed to be candidates for
either type I thyroplasty or unilateral vocal fold augmentation for the purpose of
rehabilitating this UVCP. Patterns of brain activity from the fMRI studies will be compared
with the preoperative study with each patient serving as their own control for the purpose
of evaluating the alterations in sensory motor organization of the brain in response to
UVCP. In addition, responses in patients with UVCP will be compared to normal controls. This
will allow us to identify the impact on speech and swallowing and the subsequent
reorganization which we theorize will occur in response to the vocal cord medialization.
Patients will undergo standardized voice evaluation with improvement in voice serving as a
secondary endpoint. The results of the current investigation will provide needed information
on both central and peripheral mechanisms of adaptation.
- Patients with UVCP undergoing type I thyroplasty or vocal fold augmentation for
rehabilitation of speech and swallowing.
- Inclusion criteria for the healthy subjects:
- From age 18-85
- for the UVCP patients includes the following:
- History of significant psychiatric condition (e.g. schizophrenia,
obsessive-compulsive disorder, significant dementia),
- History of the following neurological conditions: CVA, seizure disorders,
demyelinating conditions, systemic neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy,
- History of previous moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.
- History of significant cardiovascular, gastrointestinal or renal disease (e.g.
myocardial infarction within the previous 12 months, significant vaso-occlusive
disease, severe or advanced asthma, or renal compromise)
- History of achalasia
- History of dysphagia, odynophagia, or aphasia unrelated to present illness.
- History of significant claustrophobic reactions.
- Standard contraindications to MR examinations (e.g. implanted stimulators,
Exclusion criteria for the healthy subjects includes the following:
- All of the conditions listed for the UVCP patients.
- Significant surgery or previous radiation therapy to the head and neck.
- History of other neoplasms involving the brain, head and neck, or gastrointestinal