Upper Motor Neuron Diseases and Laryngeal Presentations

Yolanda D. Heman-Ackah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this manuscript is to review laryngeal manifestations of upper motor neuron disease. A review of the relevant neuroanatomy is performed as well as a description of common laryngeal signs of upper motor neuron disease and the disease entities that cause them. Recent Findings: Upper motor neuron lesions must occur in the brainstem or in the bilateral cerebral hemisphere in order to cause signs and symptoms in the larynx. Summary: The presence of bilateral vocal fold paralysis or paresis with concurrent signs of myoclonus, tremor, rigidity, hyperactive gag reflex, and/or laryngospasm episodes should prompt an investigation for possible medullary brainstem or bilateral cerebral cortex pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Otorhinolaryngology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilateral vocal fold paralysis
  • Dysphonia
  • Pseudobulbar palsy
  • Spastic laryngeal nerve paralysis
  • Spastic vocal fold paralysis
  • Upper motor neuron disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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