What is Wrong With Robert F Kennedy’s Voice? A Rare Voice Disorder
What is Wrong With Robert F Kennedy’s Voice? When Robert Kennedy Jr. went on “Larry King Live” on Monday, he wanted to bring attention to the need to save energy. But while people heard his rough, strained voice, he also brought attention to another cause.
After the show, there were a lot more questions about his health on Internet forums. What kind of cold was it? Was it something more dangerous, like lung cancer? How did he sound like he was choked up?
In reality, Kennedy only has problems with her voice box because she has a disease called spasmodic dysphonia, which is a type of dystonia, an involuntary movement disorder.
People who called or asked Kennedy’s press representative at his Pace Environmental Clinic office for feedback did not return calls or messages.
The disease is not life-threatening, but it does change the lives of the few people who have it. Experts on spasmodic dysphonia say that the disease only affects 0.02% of people. Most people get it between the ages of 20 and 50, and women get it twice as often as men.
People who have lost their voices say it affects almost every part of their lives and is their main way of communicating with the outside world.
It is hard for the few doctors who study the rare disorder to identify it, figure out what causes it, and teach doctors all over the US how to treat it.
The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association website has sounds of people who have adductor spasmodic dysphonia and the less common abductor spasmodic dysphonia.
Lorraine Rappaport first noticed that her voice was changing when she was a school counselor in California in the early 1980s.
“It came on gradually; it isn’t like anything that happens overnight,” explained Rappaport. “My voice got very hoarse, and there were certain letters of the alphabet at the beginning of words that I could not say easily.”
Over time, her illness began to make it harder for her to do her job and talk to other people.
“There were times where I had to stop and think, because I wanted to avoid a word because I couldn’t say it clearly.”
Rappaport started to stay away from English words that started with “h,” “ch,” “k,” or “c.” She had never heard of spasmodic dysphonia before, and doctors kept telling her it was all in her head, especially since she was getting divorced.