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Emerging Basic Science and Voice Disorders

Emerging Basic Science and Voice Disorders
Nancye C. Roussel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Danielle N. Lodewyck, Ph.D, Danielle Lodewyck
July 31, 2006


Ryan C. Branski, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Assistant Attending Scientist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor
Speech-Language Pathology and Otorhinolaryngology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Danielle N. Lodewyck, Ph.D., CF-SLP
Clinical Fellow in Speech Pathology
NYU Voice Center
Department of Otolaryngology
NYU School of Medicine

Gone are the days of graduate students pining away in laboratories characterizing speech and voice production. The era of translational research has forced speech pathologists interested in voice disorders to obtain novel skills in what have historically been considered basic science fields. SLP presence in molecular biology or pharmacology laboratories is becoming increasingly common. This cross-pollination of disciplines has led to significant advances towards the optimal management of patients with voice disorders. Specifically, two primary areas of investigation have emerged, both with relevance to guide management schemes for patients with voice disorders:

  1. The role of hydration in voice production and,
  2. The mechanisms of vocal fold injury and repair.

Both areas represent significant collaboration among disciplines with the ultimate goal of developing optimal therapeutic strategies for patients. The following review provides an update on recent findings in these exciting areas.

Hydration and Voice Production

For decades, clinicians preached the importance of hydration in voice production including increased systemic hydration as a key component of vocal hygiene programs. Interestingly, until recently, the relationship between hydration and voice production was purely conjecture; theoretically sound, but not empirically confirmed. New findings in laboratories across the country have elucidated these clinical phenomena using human studies as well as techniques typically reserved for basic scientists in hopes of developing novel, scientifically sound therapeutic strategies.


nancye c roussel

Nancye C. Roussel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Nancye Roussel is an associate professor and Head of the Department of Communicative Disorders.  She has over twenty years of experience teaching in the areas of voice, swallowing and motor speech disorders as well as the neurophysiology of the speech mechanism.  Her research interests include the use of instrumental analysis in the description of voice and speech disorders. 

Danielle N. Lodewyck, Ph.D

danielle lodewyck

Danielle Lodewyck

Related Courses

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